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What program like this exists in DC?

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wheels 785 days ago | link

LaunchBox Digital started there, then moved to Durham, then moved back to traditional angel investing. In fact, most of the programs that I listed above at this point are defunct, which was kind of what I was getting at.

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If you have zero interest in the news I think there is something wrong with you not the news. If you don't educate yourself about the issues going on in the world you're contributing to the ignorance of the American (and global) public. Would your life be virtually unchanged if you didn't know about SOPA? Saying that politics doesn't interest you is like saying you don't care about your society and those around you. Imagine if people hadn't watched/read/listened to some form of "the news" during Arab spring, during Prop 8, during the Civil Rights movement, during the height of the fight for women's rights, during apartheid? I guess you would just go on living right? This really reeks of a super young person (which the author outed himself as). I'm all for finding alternative sources of information rather than traditional media (which is biased no matter what source you use). In UG I took a course called "making the news" and learned some very valuable information, namely don't trust what you read--you've got to dig deeper and find several sources in order to truly understand an issue and the various bias of content producers--authors, publications and even geographic regions.

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I know humor is sort of frowned up on HN but that was hilarious.

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tripzilch 794 days ago | link

Downvoted for enjoying yourself.

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How long have you guys been up and running?

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Somewhat, but most liberal arts PhDs only get a small stipend from being a TA plus in-state tuition if it's a public University. Maybe what you're thinking about is being funded, that allows you to get your PhD essentially for free. I'm sure that is available for STEM as well?

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Law school is actually extremely hard, there is no grade inflation in law school, if anything grades are deflated because there area maximum number of As (and B's) given out (usually around 10-15% is the max for A/A- and 20% for B's) for each and every class. So you end up with a bunch of liberal arts majors who have never gotten a C and suddenly they're getting a whole heaping lot of them. They get complexes.

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geebee 893 days ago | link

I'm just one data point, but I did spend one semester in law school (at Columbia) before taking a leave of absence (in good academic standing, B's in everything) and enrolling in a PhD in engineering (Berkeley).

Law school was not hard. At an elite school, it's very easy to get B's in your courses, which won't get you on law review, but will generally land you a job at a top firm from an elite school. Failure rates are astoundingly low. I would guess 97+% of the class gets a B or higher, and failing out is almost unheard of (again, at elite schools). Lower ranked schools, from what I've heard, do grade on the harsher scale you mentioned.

My PhD program at Berkeley, on the other hand, was a horror show of attrition and failure. It was so much more brutal than law school it's completely silly to compare the two. My dept at Berkeley said that 40% fail to get the PhD, but that's not counting people like me who were awarded masters degrees and so are considered to have achieved their degree goal. I'd guess that the failure rate is well above 50% - and keep in mind, this is for a very elite program that is extremely selective.

Graduate programs in math, science, and engineering are littered with the broken dreams of exceptionally smart people. It's exceptionally unusual for med, law, and mba students to fail out at elite programs. It's commonplace in top PhD programs.

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Rariel 893 days ago | link

I would agree with you for the most part. Top schools ("T14" for us law nerds and "the Top 14 law schools" for the lay people!) are fairly easy to get B's in given effort is extended, but A's are still hard to get. I don't know many T14 schools that have curved and capped classes. I wasn't in an extremely lower ranked school (top 30) but it was a hardcore school in terms of the curve. They've since relaxed a bit (now A's are capped around 18% I believe). I do know people that went to Boalt and got D's so it's possible but failing out is pretty unheard of in law school, period. Also the legal job market has shifted dramatically in the past 4 years so those B students at high ranked schools can't bank on an offer from a big firm based on the name of their school anymore--I know too many who are unemployed for that to be the case.

Funny thing is my husband did his UG in ME at Berkeley and that department ( and the College of Engineering in general) was a sheer nightmare. The unimaginable things that took place and the workload he endured (while working 20 hours at LBNL) blew my mind and that was just a BS. I can imagine a PhD would be insane.

But my point wasn't that one is harder, just that law is hard and it's not an easy thing to grasp because they ask you to learn and be tested in a way that is very non-traditional, at least in my experience. It makes babies out of people who thought of school as a cake walk. It was actually funny at times to see the emotional breakdown over their first B or C because they were so dramatic about it.

But I commend you on your choice to leave law school, probably smartest thing you ever did! ha.

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The only thing I agree with Mike on is this "The way to fix this problem is to try to get more very young minorities interested in business, science and math, and create a culture that celebrates these interests in the same way that being good at sports is celebrated today." Yet he doesn't even realize that "the same way that being good at sports is celebrated today" is extremely offensive coming from him. The only reason Black people excelled at sports was that there weren't many other options for making a great deal of money without a good education. A quick survey of black athletes will undoubtedly show that they weren't at the top elementary schools and high schools in their areas. When you don't have a solid education or any place to get one because of your socio-economic class you turn to other options for making money, namely sports or entertainment if you're "good" selling drugs and crime if you're "bad." The comment itself is true but the idea that he can't understand the historical context of his proposition or the reason it isn't already the case is sad.

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I agree. All this drama over an un-aired special. CNN must be so happy with the hype created and the ratings that will result.

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What about the fact that Black men were disproportionately executed for rape, so much so that they stopped making the death penalty an option for rape cases? Is that institutionalized racism or just bad luck?

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grammaton 895 days ago | link

I was under the impression that it was actually poor men who were executed disproportionately for rape. And while we're tossing stats around, how about the general amount of crime committed by said Black men? It is higher per capita, is it not? Is that due to racism too?

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Anechoic 894 days ago | link

> how about the general amount of crime committed by said Black men? It is higher per capita, is it not?

It depends on what numbers you look at. In terms of raw imprisonment numbers the plurality of prisoners are serving time for drug and drug-related crimes and those prisoners are overwhelmingly black and Hispanic. However when you look at SAMHSA surveys and other research whites and blacks use & sell drugs at about the same rates.

Looking at violent crime on the other hand (murder in particular) blacks to appear to commit those crimes at higher rates, but in terms of raw numbers, those results are minuscule compared to the number of folks imprisoned every year (something like hundreds, maybe a couple of thousand per year IIRC).

I'm doing this from memory so I can't point you to the exact sources of this information (I'm one of the several thousand Massachusetts residents who lost power last weekend and I'm writing this via smartphone) but it comes from SAMHSA and BJS data (and to a lesser extent UCR although that's not quite as useful for these discussions). If you want citations I can provide them after power is restores on Saturday or Sunday.

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Rariel 895 days ago | link

You are incorrect, it is not poor men. "Of the 455 men executed for rape in the United States between 1930 and 1967, 90 percent were African American." Although I'm sure the vast majority of those men were poor.

re: stats please provide some if you'd like some in return because you've made a huge generalization and I'd say that it's your bias speaking (not racism). In response to your question, if it is true that black men commit more crimes I'd say that the situation of blacks in america is directly tied racism, slavery and the like so yes, it is due to racism too.

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grammaton 894 days ago | link

"Between 1930 and 1967"

You're going to have to do better than citing stats that are 44 years old. All this proves is that 44 years ago, there was a problem, which is not exactly a point of contention among most sentient beings at this point.

"you've made a huge generalization and I'd say that it's your bias speaking (not racism)."

Seriously? These are not obscure statistics I'm talking about here. Here, check this one out:

"As of 2005, statistics show that offending rates for blacks were more than 7 times higher than the rates for whites."

Taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_the_United_States#Char...

Or how about:

"These specific facts about the Bell shooting are just a few of the hundreds of thousands of data points that reveal a hard truth: any given violent crime in New York is 13 times more likely to have a black than a white perpetrator. While most black residents are law-abiding and desperately deserve police protection, the incidence of criminal activity among young black males is off the charts."

Taken from http://www.city-journal.org/html/eon2007-04-02hm.html

And that was with five minutes of Googling. I'm not making some wild, off the wall assertion here. This is a well known and exhaustively documented fact.

"I'd say that the situation of blacks in america is directly tied racism, slavery and the like so yes, it is due to racism too."

I figured you would. Slavery ended 150 years ago, so if you want to assert that some 7 generations later it's still having effects, I welcome you to provide data to that effect. This, right here, is the problem in a nutshell - the minute these facts are mentioned, the hue and cry of racism and slavery goes up, and all further thought on the matter stops. The causes of this situation are complex, and reducing them to one dimensional truisms does no one any favors.

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Rariel 894 days ago | link

First of all, I was talking about the death penalty in rape cases, the statistics are old because it's an old problem, "The 1977 Coker v. Georgia decision barred the death penalty for rape, and, by implication, for any offense other than murder." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_punishment_in_the_Unite... So your point is moot.

As for your wiki cite, first of all you're talking about murder when your first comment was regarding the total number of black people incarcerated. Which would you like to discuss? You pulled that quote (as of 2005) off of a graphic, had you read the text to the left you would have seen this: "As of 2008, statistics report that of 16,277 murders, 10,568 were committed by males, 1,176 were by female, and 4,533 were committed in which the offenders sex was unknown. Likewise, 5,334 murders were committed by white offenders, 5,943 were committed by black or black and Hispanic offenders, 273 were committed by offenders of other races, and 4,727 murders were committed by offenders whose race is not known. [12]" So white people murder about the same as black people. There are less black people in the united states, what do you think the reason behind this is? You think black people just have more bad apples in their bunch than whites? Are blacks just more prone to be criminals? Or is it based on the conditions of their community? How did their community get that way? Was it their own doing or did it have anything to do with Jim Crow laws, were those laws racist?

Your other statistic is NY specific therefore I will not address it because I am talking about a systematic problem, not NYC which is a major metro area and therefore likely to have more crime.

"Slavery ended 150 years ago" But how long ago was it that Jim Crow was in effect? How long did it take for Jim Crow to be completely abolished? There are still signs up that say whites only because they haven't been removed--I've seen some with my own two eyes.

It's unfortunate that you cannot see the connection between the current state of the black community and the trans-atlantic slave trade, hundreds of years of enslavement followed by legal racial segregation that just ended 40 years ago--I know plenty of people who went to segregated high schools.

"The causes of this situation are complex, and reducing them to one dimensional truisms does no one any favors." I don't believe I ever said it was due to one thing. Racism in itself is highly complex and in no way one dimensional.

I really have no interest in continuing this debate with you. I'll agree to disagree.

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pandaman 894 days ago | link

Rape used to be a capital offense in the USSR and no black had been executed for that. However they stopped making the death penalty an option anyways. The reason being that it turned most rapes into rape+murder.

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This idea that you're either "racist" or "not racist" is ridiculous. We all have bias and prejudice, very rarely are people making n-word jokes or saying things like "Tim is great but he's black/latino so I think he's not as smart as Sally because she's white."

To have any sort of useful and truthful discussion about race in this country we must look at it from a holistic perspective and be honest with ourselves about the ideas and bias we have, it's less about shouting racist at somebody and more about understanding how our society socializes us to believe certain things (e.g. Asians are good at math, black people are good at sports and entertainment, Jews are good with money and law). If we own up to the fact that we all carry around bias and prejudice (often times without any malice or cognizance of its' existence) we can start really getting at the issue of racism and institutionalized racism.

All that being said, I think Mike is just a white guy who doesn't like to be called racist even if some of the things he's said are offensive to people of color and considered racist by them. He's a whiner to me and I've never liked his attitude, I was done with him when he went after Warren Buffet for saying rich people should pay taxes using tech crunch as his platform. He thinks he's above any and all rules (journalistic integrity [even though he's not a journalist], being racial sensitive, etc) and it is disturbing that he continues to be so insensitive and offensive despite being told by several people to be quiet.

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