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Wednesday, March 3. 2021
It sounds to me like the "soft bigotry of low expectations."
As an average caucasian person, I never understood math until I was 18. Then it all clicked in and became obvious to me. Lots of white kids do not get beyond arithmetic, perhaps because they avoid it. I never got beyond Calc ll, but in life I never needed it. Many careers do need it, though, and many very bright people just love it.
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I doubt that. I doubt that that is the issue because they are not talking about MIT students, they are talking about arithmetic and basic algebra. You do not need Math Genes to do those things.
Nope. I was hopeless at arithmetic as a kid and barely made it through algebra & geometry. I just don't have the brain for it. Every time the problems were presented I'd get spots in front of my eyes.
I only discovered much later in life that I do use geometry every time I work on flat pattern drafting or drape fabric on a dress form. Wish that had been part of the lesson plan.
Genetics, parenting and schools.
I doubt it is mostly genetics. I think the answer to the mystery is found in the expression "tiger mom". Mostly Asians but not uncommon for white parents either. There are a gazillion videos of the black parent (usually single mother) "equivalent". They are just as diligent as the Asian tiger mom but not in forming their child's academic development but in teaching anger, violence and entitlement. Children are like an unfilled bucket that we parents, teachers and cohorts fill. It just depends on what you fill them with.
We need more of this:
If genetics play absolutely no role, then why the demographics in professional sports teams? Of course biology is a factor. But social forces are as well. We'll not find out objectively until the principles of enlightenment have been fully realized, starting with the re-establishment of nurturing, complete family units, functional middle class lifestyles, and raising kids in an environment of bourgeois values that emphasize the delay of gratification in favor of long-term goals.
The black race, and more specifically the African black race, is very diverse. It is almost like a genetic experiment, the differences and genetic attributes. For example the Kenyans dominate long distance running but not basket ball. The various African tribes each have different genetic physical traits that lend themselves to success in a specific field(s) of athletics.
You can see this to a lesser extent in the white race. Years ago people of Southern Eastern European descent dominated football wrestling and were a factor in boxing. Probably had a strong Neanderthal genes. The Northern Europeans dominated the academic and arts.
All things being equal I prefer to be intelligent than athletic.
Having worked in West Africa, I can attest that there is great variety across the continent, within the Negro race.
I find it helpful to remember that in the USA, the Nigerian African-American immigrants have a higher average income than white Americans, as do many Asian-Americans. I don't think their math skills or their intelligence are failing them.
I work for a Nigerian; holds a Master's in Econ from Farleigh Dickinson.
Does not know what ‘opportunity cost’ means.
Unaware of how to read a spreadsheet.
Cannot calculate future money costs, nor estimate percentages.
Methinks things OTHER than skill, merit and ability account for his ‘degree’.
Now apply that to income.
We all know that certain minorities will be "given" a free pass to colleges and once there will be "given" a degree. Learning is not required.
Average black American IQ is 86. Survey
BIPOCs seem to be more susceptible to excuses masquerading as expectations, many of which are reinforced by white folks. Personally, I'm very much tempted to respond to the next person who says "Math is too hard" by giving them a smack in the kisser and the chewing-out of a lifetime. Too many friggin' lightweights in our society, regardless of color.
I have a bachelors in math. Math wasn't as easy as some things I studied. I have a masters in computer science and it was much easier/made more sense. My first semester of college calculus almost made me quit. A Chinese teacher who spent all the class time writing formulas on the blackboard with his right hand, erasing with his left and talking over his shoulder to the class. The rest of the two years in calculus was taught by a Mexican high school math teacher with one glass eye. He had a great sense of humor, could show actual uses for calculus and generally made the class interesting. My other classes and teachers varied but Calculus was the initial stumbling block and once I got past it I believed in myself more and wasn't easy put off by the challenges. I spent my entire career working with computers and I won't say that I never used the math, but I will say that I didn't need to take any math past high school in order to know how to apply the math in programming and my work in general. Advanced math is obviously necessary for certain fields but it is unnecessary for most fields.
I had crappy 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th grade math teachers -- here is the book, do the work. My HIgh school teachers were more varied. I got a perfect math score on the SAT and annoyed the math teachers. I was in Calculus for one week. The lecturer lectured with a thick German accent and had the same habit as your Chinese lecturer. The TA was Chinese and was impossible to understand. I dropped the course.
I wish I had had calculus. I actually do have to use it and it is always a wee bit of a struggle.
I use trigonometry a LOT, and that was a class I got a D in college. When I took trig in college, graphing calculators had JUST come out. We were FORBIDDEN from using them for class. The following year, graphing calculators were REQUIRED for the same class. Had I taken trig a year later, I would have passed, possibly with a grad as high as a B.
It's funny -- now I am the one explaining trigonometry to our younger workers who didn't take any trig in college.
When I was a child, I was tagged as gifted in math. So, by the time I was in 6th Grade I had completed linear and non-linear algebra as well as trigonometry. I hated every minute of it and grew to hate math. As a result, I bombed in Middle School and was removed from the gifted program. I recovered in High School, finishing up in differential and integral calculus. The teachers in Elementary Schoo ruined me. My Middle School teachers abandoned me. But one very, very good teacher in High School (Mr. Haliburton) helped me see what math really is -- a way of thinking, both inductively and deductively (calculus). Thanks Mr. Haliburton.
I encourage people to stop saying "I don't think..." and "I don't believe..." and just answering of the cuff about what their politics or cultural beliefs tell them the right answer is. The data has been clear for 60 years if not more.
People argue loudly on many sides, insisting that the others are just idiots. But if you just go over to DuckDuckGo and start reading through whatever articles come up, and sorting who seems to be burying and explaining away information and who looks it square in the face, it really won't take that long.
No one is making you do the "research of the research" on your own, certainly. You can continue to just read the articles you like in a whatever popular press comes to your house. It's a free country, as we used to say. But you really shouldn't comment on public sites as if you knew something if you aren't willing to do a minimum of real research.
There is a lot that really isn't up for debate.
I am intentionally encouraging people to look things up on their own, because I find that this is a topic where once you make any assertion, people focus on that and want to argue about that cold, with no further research on their part, only telling you that you are wrong and stupid. So nothing personal, Saul. If we were sitting and having beers in a pub and I discerned you were not simply being hostile, I would give you information, even if we disagreed. But in a comment section, even if you are reasonable, there will be too many others who are not.
You will notice that I did not even make suggestions where to start, though I was sorely tempted.
I think a lot of it is simply ritual incantation to ward off the Evil Spirits of Racism. Everybody recognizes it's partially genetics even if they don't want to say it out loud.
Conservatives say "Work harder" and "better teachers" but mean "We know some people are just never going to get it. We can't be sure exactly who up front but that's not an excuse for quitting".
The liberals have now come along from the other direction with "maths are racist" which means "We know some people are just never going to get it. We can't be sure exactly who up front so let's try to make it irrelevant."
Maybe someday we can get rid of the scientific racism/eugenics baggage from the topic but that day is not today.
The NYT had an article several years ago about tenured math professors who happened to be black. The journalist found out that blacks comprised only 0.7 percent of tenured professors at the top 50 math programs. The journalist concluded that low percentage indicated that blacks were being excluded from math Ph.D. programs.
A commenter pointed out that according to a 2006 article in The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, The Widening Racial Scoring Gap on the SAT College Admissions Test, blacks made up 0.7 percent of those who scored 750 or above on the Math SAT in 2005. It's a good bet that most math professors had scored 750 or above on the Math SAT.
Conclusion: is is doubtful there is "exclusion" of blacks from math doctoral programs, as blacks comprise both 0.7 of tenured math professors at top schools and 0.7 of those who score 750 or above on the Math SAT.
That journalist didn't exhibit much ability at ferreting out information,as that journal article had been published a decade earlier.
Regarding why those scores are that way, I don't know. But having taught math in 8th and 9th grade, I doubt that genetics are the only reason,
People excel in what they have interest in. There are good and poor teachers in many subjects. Failed algebra first year,
aced it in second year, straight A's. The second year teacher could make you totally understand the equation.
I guess they do not teach roman numerals any more either.
So whats a Louis the XV ? LOL
If the blacks average 86 on an IQ test, that means that 5/6 of them make less that 100 on the IQ test. You aren't going anywhere in math unless you make 750 or better on the math sat.
Arithmetic, anybody can do. You can even do arithmetic in roman numerals but it is difficult. Math didn't really take off until Arabic (Hindu) numerals with base 10 were adapted,
The biggest reason to believe something bad about any group is if that group promotes a bogus ethic saying that it's racist to expect better of them.
Critical Race Theory is that bogus ethic. It not only calls out as "racist" anyone who expects blacks to be able to do arithmetic, but also anyone who expects punctuality, work ethic, or attention to detail.
It seems clear to me that all employers ought to be quizzing new hires to find out if they advocate CRT, and should reject anyone who does.
I was never any good at math. Part of this, I think, is because as a child I was constantly moved from school to school (eleven before I got to high school), and so I was always confronted with classwork that was either ahead of where I left off, or behind it. But partly, I just don't have the talent for it that some people do. Give me words, and I can fly. Numbers, not so much.
This is a political subject. As such, Asians don't really factor into it since the reigning national religion is hating white colored people as a sacrament.
Mathematical ability is directly linked to IQ. Reality doesn't give a shit what you think about reality.
I read enough science fiction as a young man that I KNEW I had to be competent in math if I was ever getting into space. Robert Heinlein made that perfectly clear!
So I worked at it and passed. Just the concepts in calculus have been integral (pun intended!) to my understanding of how the world works.
Never made it into outer space but I did get a degree in nuclear engineering.
Thank you, Mr. Heinlein!
Today my principal application of math is making sure the pagination on my letters is correct.
The late Neptunus Lex, a Navy Captain, attack pilot, and superb blogger, wrote remarked that he had not done terribly well at math in high school and the first two years of college:
"It was not until my junior year at the Naval Academy, when we started to do differential equations, that the light came on. Eureka! Drop a wrench from orbit, and over time it would accelerate at a determinable pace, up until the moment when it entered the atmosphere, where friction would impede the rate of acceleration at an increasingly greater rate (based on air density, interpolated over a changing altitude) and that wrench struck someone’s head at a certain velocity, that any of this applied in the real word. By then it was too late, I was too far gone, and an opportunity was lost."
I expect many people would learn math better if they were exposed early to the kind of realistic application-based thinking that Lex describes.