Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Don't Check Asian: Who...Whom?

It's not a surprise to anyone who is paying attention that colleges and similar institutions discriminate against Asians, particularly those of Chinese or Japanese ancestry in admissions.  Likewise, they discriminate against whites (especially non-elite whites with non-elite activities like FFA, 4H, or JROTC).

But should we be against this practice as primarily white reactionaries?  Well, once again, I ask the question...who...whom?

White people would be stupid to end only this discriminatory practice because 'it is wrong' while leaving intact all of the discrimination against their own children.  This isn't to say that some sort of bargain couldn't be reached, but it is very difficult for the non-elite whites and non-elite Asians to reach a bargain that they can enforce, even through referendum or initiative.  Simply put, if a large amount of admissions are set aside for NAMs, legacies and the connected, those of us who are none of the above have to scrap for the scraps.

I know a lot of us in the HBD sphere have a dream world where, like many Euro elite universities, every applicant takes a totally transparent test and the top N scores get the N spots.  There's no way in hell that will fly in the US, even if we had no diversity.

There's nothing that is actually sacred about GPA and SAT scores.  Yes, they predict reasonably well, and, the SAT score at least is pretty hard to game by standards of the other sorts of things colleges and other institutions consider.  But relying on them is largely a value judgment---specifically, it's placing value on efficiency.  Society can choose whatever values it likes.  I'd just prefer that it stop pretending to attach moral significance to its more arbitrary decisions and do so more transparently.

Perhaps we're going about this the wrong way.  Perhaps we should DEMAND transparency and relative objectivity in our metrics for determining such goodies.  If we want to make elite college admissions based on military press, 40 yard dash, and test scores for men and attractiveness, overall fitness, and test scores for women, so be it.  I must say I'd be amused at the spectacle of something like an NFL combine being held each year for graduating high school seniors and homeschoolers.  The key for reining in the institutions here though in my opinion is starving them of any discretion.  Every last decision must be numerical and someone other than the institution in question must produce the numbers.  What should the numbers be about?  I don't know, and honestly I don't care all that much.  But they must be advertised and transparent and consistently measured.  I think young people would vastly prefer the externalities associated with college admission application padding under my system.


Red said...

Change university's back to places of higher learning people will self select the university that best fits themselves. Replace the degree system with a national test to receive a degree.

Jehu said...

I'm less ambitious. Let the universities be what those who provide the funding for them want them to be, but insure that admissions departments can't play games to create a massive principal-agent problem. Then we'll see what transpires in transparency. Maybe there's space for universities that take 'sound mind in a sound body' seriously.

Hail said...

"There's no way in hell that will fly in the US, even if we had no diversity."

Why not? In a mono-ethnocultural nation, what would be the basis for AA? Class, I'd guess. But the 'Class Question' in the USA has always been minimal compared to Race Question.

Jehu said...

Yes, class is a big part of it, as well as regional animosities. We talk more about meritocracy than the Euros, but we've got less actual commitment to it, regardless of the metric for merit being used.