Federal judge rules in favor of Harvard in discrimination case

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Re: Federal judge rules in favor of Harvard

Post by pjhair » 1 week ago

yettee wrote:
1 week ago
And for housing, it would mean, for both public or private residences, people can be accepted or denied based on merit (such as consideration of prior conduct, police record etc.) but not their skin color.
If private schools are exactly like private residences and derive absolutely no benefit from government(such as tax cuts, endowment, accreditation, etc) then they can admit whoever they want to. I wouldn't object. It will be their prerogative.

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Afro_Vacancy wrote:
1 week ago
The educational environment will improve if the student body is non-homogeneous. Universities are not supposed to be like factories, they're supposed to encourage rigorous and critical thinking. Given that context, diversity is a strength, as it nurtures creativity. If everybody thinks in the same way then breakthroughs become impossible.
I am not sure I agree with it. For example, I didn't get better in developing computer algorithms by the presence of a diverse body of students. I got better at it by consistently being challenged by other bright students who were adept at developing algorithms. Diversity had absolutely nothing to do with it. Similarly, if a students wants to get better in philosophy, the presence of sharp thinkers around him/her is far, far more important than simply having diverse set students. Some departments for, example sociology, may benefit from diversity but that isn't a justifiable ground for engaging in race based admissions.

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Re: Federal judge rules in favor of Harvard

Post by yettee » 1 week ago

pjhair wrote:
1 week ago
If private schools are exactly like private residences and derive absolutely no benefit from government(such as tax cuts, endowment, accreditation, etc) then they can admit whoever they want to. I wouldn't object. It will be their prerogative.
One could definitely make an argument that private residence owners do derive benefits from government. For example there are many, many different types of tax benefits and yes tax cuts such as deductions, exclusions, and the elimination of capital gains tax on certain types of sales, residences are often bought with government-backed and guaranteed mortgages, state money directed to a specific area will jack up the value of properties in that area, etc. But fortunately (in my view) it's not necessary to argue it because decades ago laws were passed that prevent housing discrimination. Every person has the right to rent, buy, or mortgage a home without being discriminated against based solely on the color of their skin, it's the law, and it's a law supported by the majority of people in the country.

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Re: Federal judge rules in favor of Harvard

Post by pjhair » 1 week ago

yettee wrote:
1 week ago
One could definitely make an argument that private residence owners do derive benefits from government. For example there are many, many different types of tax benefits and yes tax cuts such as deductions, exclusions, and the elimination of capital gains tax on certain types of sales, residences are often bought with government-backed and guaranteed mortgages, state money directed to a specific area will jack up the value of properties in that area, etc.
If that is the case then the private residence owners shouldn't be able to discriminate. However, if they aren't deriving absolutely any benefits, then they should be able to rent on whatever grounds they wish. This was precisely my argument the last time as well. If I remember correctly, I used the term "completely private entity". In practice, its' very hard to find a business that is completely private(probably impossible). For example, even if they aren't deriving any government benefits, they might still use things such as roads built by the government. My argument was more of a thought experiment in which I assumed that an entity is truly private and independent.

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Re: Federal judge rules in favor of Harvard

Post by yettee » 1 week ago

pjhair wrote:
1 week ago
In practice, its' very hard to find a business that is completely private(probably impossible). For example, even if they aren't deriving any government benefits, they might still use things such as roads built by the government. My argument was more of a thought experiment in which I assumed that an entity is truly private and independent.
To be fair, when we talked about it a year ago, I think this is similar to the case I made, that you cannot view a "private" residence out of the context of the society around it, and you said things like this (on roads for example):

'Government also charges taxes to build the infrastructure hence they lose the right to claim that "because we build roads, you are forced to follow our decree when it comes to renting apartments." '

However, to be even fairer, you also said this:

"There is another argument that I just thought of. Discrimination erodes stability over time. To prevent societies from destabilizing, we need anti discrimination laws even when they violate the liberty of private individuals sometimes. As a members of free society we enjoy various rights; but those rights come with responsibilities. Maintaining peace and harmony in a society is arguably one of the most important of responsibilities. These responsibilities do limit our freedom sometimes(such as anti discrimination laws) but they are the part of the social contract. I am not sure how strong this argument is. What it essentially says is that anti discrimination laws serve a greater good than not trespassing an individuals liberty, hence their existence is justified. I am struggling to see how they serve a greater good. Yes, they prevent overt discrimination but are they really fixing the root problem or they are simply sweeping it under the rug hoping it will go away on it's own? Like I said, I need to think more :) "

It seems like you have indeed thought more and reached some conclusions at this point..? Anyway you have clearly considered this very deeply, and are not being partisan, actually the opposite. :)

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Re: Federal judge rules in favor of Harvard in discrimination case

Post by Afro_Vacancy » 1 week ago

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Re: Federal judge rules in favor of Harvard in discrimination case

Post by Hairblues » 1 week ago

I haven’t really read anything on this. But I wonder if this is what the judge meant that their whole admissions policy had issues (can’t rexall her wording, it’s on the recorded snippet in original post)
I would think as a judge it’s hard to consider on aspect of admission that may actually be flawed without taking into consideration their admission policies as a whole.
I wouldn’t be able to compartmentalize it and make a fair decision. The whole thing needs to be addressed.

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Re: Federal judge rules in favor of Harvard in discrimination case

Post by Afro_Vacancy » 1 week ago

Hairblues wrote:
1 week ago
I haven’t really read anything on this. But I wonder if this is what the judge meant that their whole admissions policy had issues (can’t rexall her wording, it’s on the recorded snippet in original post)
I would think as a judge it’s hard to consider on aspect of admission that may actually be flawed without taking into consideration their admission policies as a whole.
I wouldn’t be able to compartmentalize it and make a fair decision. The whole thing needs to be addressed.
Yes, that's true in general. It's hard to say if say, Blacks, are disadvantaged for entering Harvard, as some policies may favor them, but others may disfavor them, and then accounting for all that becomes more complex. However, with southeast Asians, it appears, as far as I can tell, that all criteria other than grades and standardized test scores disfavor them.

It's also not clear to me, as I'm not a lawyer, what responsibilities Harvard has. It's officially a private institution, but in practice it receives a lot of government funding. The professors there apply for government grants to fund their research. The students get federal tax credits and subsidized loans to pay for their education. People who donate to Harvard receive tax deductions. In my opinion it is nowhere close to being a legitimately private institution.

This is a difficult question legally and morally, and I don't have enough knowledge to judge it on those terms. I'll speak to what I favor educationally: An excellent student body that is diverse in several ways that matter. Do what you can to get people from different geographic areas, people from different backgrounds, people from different races, and so on. That will improve the educational environment. Historically, regions and places of high creativity tend to be more diverse.

However, it may be worth it as a fundraising tool to just transparently and openly auction a few hundred spots a year. There's a cost to that, but if it brings in money, there's also a benefit for everybody else.

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pjhair wrote:
1 week ago
I am not sure I agree with it. For example, I didn't get better in developing computer algorithms by the presence of a diverse body of students. I got better at it by consistently being challenged by other bright students who were adept at developing algorithms. Diversity had absolutely nothing to do with it. Similarly, if a students wants to get better in philosophy, the presence of sharp thinkers around him/her is far, far more important than simply having diverse set students. Some departments for, example sociology, may benefit from diversity but that isn't a justifiable ground for engaging in race based admissions.
It might matter more for sociology, economics, theater, art history, management, etc than it matters for computer science, but those are large fractions of the university.

It can also matter in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, I'm sure pjhair knows this abbreviation, but others might not). For example, one thing that's been pointed out in medicine in recent years is that doctors tend to be more dismissive of symptoms from women, for example, women are more likely to hear "you're just stressed, you need to relax" when they have actual problems. This would have likely been identified as an issue earlier on if there were more women in positions of authority within medicine. The presence of mentors can also matter. Graduate students who are women, people of color, etc are likely to do better if they see an authority figure that they can somewhat relate to. Young people actually know this, and it turns out that departments which lack women professors end up having a hard time recruiting women graduate students.

But looking back on my college years, I got both an academic and a social education institutions. I liked the fact that I met people from Japan, from Iran, from France, from Bangladesh, from the United States, etc. I think that it made me a better person to interact with a broader range of people. That may not be as meaningful to you if you went to a better high school than I did.
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Re: Federal judge rules in favor of Harvard in discrimination case

Post by Admin » 1 week ago

https://www.salon.com/2019/01/25/white- ... s-of-race/
Salon wrote:Covington Catholic High School who, in a widely viewed video, harassed and mocked a Native American elder last Friday
Careful where you get your news from. I have a rule: fool me a hundred times, you lose my trust. At this point, anything that Salon, Slate, CNN, etc. say should be disregarded automatically. I don't care if there is half a nugget of truth in that giant stinking pile of far left propaganda.

Sorry, I just took 12 hour flight. I might look at this post after having recovered from the jet lag, and decide that it was absolutely correct.

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Re: Federal judge rules in favor of Harvard

Post by Exodus » 1 week ago

Admin wrote:
1 week ago
Except there are more personality differences (so way of thinking and seeing the world) within groups of people than between groups:
yep. diversity sounds good but diverse in the ways that matter such as personality rather than arbitrary traits like skin color or features

Added in 8 minutes 56 seconds:
Afro_Vacancy wrote:
1 week ago
For example, one thing that's been pointed out in medicine in recent years is that doctors tend to be more dismissive of symptoms from women, for example, women are more likely to hear "you're just stressed, you need to relax" when they have actual problems. This would have likely been identified as an issue earlier on if there were more women in positions of authority within medicine. The presence of mentors can also matter. Graduate students who are women, people of color, etc are likely to do better if they see an authority figure that they can somewhat relate to. Young people actually know this, and it turns out that departments which lack women professors end up having a hard time recruiting women graduate students.

But looking back on my college years, I got both an academic and a social education institutions. I liked the fact that I met people from Japan, from Iran, from France, from Bangladesh, from the United States, etc. I think that it made me a better person to interact with a broader range of people. That may not be as meaningful to you if you went to a better high school than I did.
the bias against women could have been prevented by just weeding out the bias itself rather than unfairly forcing women into the field.

as for students doing better if they have authority figures who are like them, it sucks but they will just have to deal with being different. its worse to make the process unfair than it is to have some students fail. besides they should learn how to succeed despite that . i mean if you took that route then anyone could force the schools to let students in based on a whim. short people would want short mentors, gamers would want gamer mentors, bald people would want bald mentors, like where does it end?

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Re: Federal judge rules in favor of Harvard in discrimination case

Post by Afro_Vacancy » 1 week ago

Admin wrote:
1 week ago
https://www.salon.com/2019/01/25/white- ... s-of-race/

Careful where you get your news from. I have a rule: fool me a hundred times, you lose my trust. At this point, anything that Salon, Slate, CNN, etc. say should be disregarded automatically. I don't care if there is half a nugget of truth in that giant stinking pile of far left propaganda.

Sorry, I just took 12 hour flight. I might look at this post after having recovered from the jet lag, and decide that it was absolutely correct.
All large media organizations make mistakes, as well as all posters here, and Infowars and their commentators like Watson. Use your judgment when reading, and if you care a lot, chase the references, which are available in this case.
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Re: Federal judge rules in favor of Harvard in discrimination case

Post by yettee » 1 week ago

Afro_Vacancy wrote:
1 week ago
All large media organizations make mistakes, as well as all posters here, and Infowars and their commentators like Watson. Use your judgment when reading, and if you care a lot, chase the references, which are available in this case.
I think the only way to get to the truth is a healthy diet of news sources with bias across the poltical spectrum. Besides mistakes, all media organizations have bias, full stop... Both institutional and on the part of individual reporters/commentators.

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Re: Federal judge rules in favor of Harvard in discrimination case

Post by Afro_Vacancy » 1 week ago

yettee wrote:
1 week ago
I think the only way to get to the truth is a healthy diet of news sources with bias across the poltical spectrum. Besides mistakes, all media organizations have bias, full stop... Both institutional and on the part of individual reporters/commentators.
It's also important to know how bias works.

If a major news organization tells you that the basketball score was 98-87, that was probably the score.

Their bias, everybody's bias, lies most sensitively in what they choose to discuss, and what they choose to not discuss.
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Re: Federal judge rules in favor of Harvard in discrimination case

Post by yettee » 1 week ago

Afro_Vacancy wrote:
1 week ago
It's also important to know how bias works.

If a major news organization tells you that the basketball score was 98-87, that was probably the score.

Their bias, everybody's bias, lies most sensitively in what they choose to discuss, and what they choose to not discuss.
Most definitely.

For example I "know someone" who was writing news for radio broadcast during the election of 1992. He was tasked with writing a short news story covering a development that week in the campaigns. The question... which development? A news blurb on the radio can be only a few seonds long. So...Clinton's speech on Monday that got a huge positive audience response, or Tues that didn't? Bush passing a new bill, or making a silly mistake that made him look out of touch? Perot saying this, or that? Etc. Each story true, none clearly more newsworthy than the other, but only time for one. Which one is chosen will likely reflect the bias of the reporter or news organization.

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Re: Federal judge rules in favor of Harvard

Post by pjhair » 1 week ago

yettee wrote:
1 week ago
It seems like you have indeed thought more and reached some conclusions at this point..?
Yes, I have. I believe that moral values should be logically justifiable. So, I hesitate to commit to a moral position until I can ascertain it's logical coherence. Some times it's very easy to do. For example, it really doesn't take much thought to conclude that we shouldn't lie, cheat, steal, kill, etc. However, sometimes determining what the right thing to do can get quite complex. That is especially the case when two moral values are in direct conflict.

Anyway, I will like discuss my own quote that you presented from a year ago :D :D . Here is what I said.

"Government also charges taxes to build the infrastructure hence they lose the right to claim that "because we build roads, you are forced to follow our decree when it comes to renting apartments." '"

I thought more about the above quote. Government does far more than merely build infrastructure. I think a far more important service that government provides is protection of the law. It's simply not possible to put a monetary value on it. Without government protection, no business will be safe from criminals. Because laws are there to protect us, it's imperative that we follow them, including anti discrimination laws.

But what about private ownership rights? Private ownership doesn't mean that a person is allowed to do whatever he/she wants at their residence. Laws of the country still apply in ones house. For example, in various areas in the US, it's illegal to make loud noises in the night at your residence and disturb the neighbors. Private ownership does have limits.

One can then counter argue, do you mean to say that we follow all the laws passed by government like robots? I will say no. There should be a reasonable limit on what government can expect from people. One can then counter argue, but isn't what's reasonable or not itself is subjective? Reasonable laws for one individual can be considered unreasonable by another. But that's precisely why debates, discussion and voting become so important in a democracy. We in the US have debated the issue of discrimination at length and have agreed to pass laws prohibiting them. Our citizens have a responsibility to follow those laws.

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Re: Federal judge rules in favor of Harvard

Post by yettee » 1 week ago

pjhair wrote:
1 week ago
But what about private ownership rights? Private ownership doesn't mean that a person is allowed to do whatever he/she wants at their residence. Laws of the country still apply in ones house. For example, in various areas in the US, it's illegal to make loud noises in the night at your residence and disturb the neighbors. Private ownership does have limits.

I cannot but agree wth you. I wrote the following a year ago when we debated about it:

yettee wrote:
8 months ago
I understand your point about private entities, but private land is not a kingdom on which you make your own laws, especially with regard to things that affect one's neighbors and society at large. You cant fill up your house with a substance that will become a public health hazard, you cant blast noise pollution, and you cant legally prevent access to housing based on the color of one's skin. So in this sense, while a person is able to privately own a property and profit from it, it involves the public in the way noise pollution does.

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