Friday, December 16, 2011

National Review: Applying While Asian

Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. Almost every journalist who has talked to me about this issue asks "Gee, how long has this been going on?" and are surprised when I tell them at least 30 years!

But who cares, those Asians don't make trouble: they'll just work harder ...

Applying While Asian

To check or not to check the Asian box? That is the pointed choice faced by Asian-American students applying for admission to what are supposed to be the most tolerant places on earth, the nation’s colleges.

The Associated Press ran a report on Asian students of mixed parentage checking “white,” if possible, on their applications to avoid outing themselves as Asian. The Princeton Review Student Advantage Guide counsels Asian-American students not to check the race box and warns against sending a photo.

... All of this is done to promote a “diversity” of a crude, bean-counting sort. The private California Institute of Technology doesn’t use quotas; its student body is 39 percent Asian. The University of California at Berkeley is forbidden by law from using quotas; its student body is more than 40 percent Asian. Only a bigot would believe that these schools are consequently worse learning environments, or that they are places characterized by monochromatic, lockstep thinking because so many students share a broad-brush ethnic designation.

The author of The Price of Admission, Daniel Golden, calls Asian-Americans “the new Jews,” a reference to the 20th-century quotas that once kept Jews out of top schools. The difference then was that Jews collectively didn’t stand for the policy, now a watchword for disgraceful bias. Stephen Hsu, a professor of physics at the University of Oregon and an outspoken critic of current admission practices, laments that Asians seem strangely accepting of the unfair treatment of their children. The official Asian-American groups tend to support anti-Asian quotas because they are captives of liberal orthodoxy before all else. ...

An NRO commenter writes

I'm whitebread umpteenth generation American. My husband is Chinese by way of Malaysia. We met at the same elite college. The discrimination against Asian students is an open secret--everyone Asian knew, or at least suspected, that it was the case. It's part of why my husband and I have decided to hyphenate my WASP last name with his (thankfully) not terribly ethnic sounding Chinese surname. We don't want our children, 20 years from now, to be hurt when applying for college, should saner winds have not prevailed.

Malaysia actually presents an instructive example. In Malaysia, about 25% of the population is Chinese, and government quotas which require a certain number of ethnic Malays win university places and jobs mean that Chinese students much earn much higher scores than Malay students to win university slots. The result of this is that academic expectation for Chinese students get ever higher, while those Chinese Malaysians who can afford it try to send their kids abroad. It's not an accident that my husband wound up at an American university--it's the result of my in-laws driving him for years to get him there.

And therein lies the rub. My husband comes from a country where racial quotas are explicit, published, and protesting them will cause the government to retaliate. (Malaysia's government recently essentially outlawed freedom of assembly.) Elections are rigged, and everyone knows this. The government has forged an ethnic, institutional and religious alliance to repress the Chinese population. My husband is still surprised that Americans are willing to openly speak out against and protest against the government.

Many Asian immigrants are only recently removed from governments that do not invite the opinions of their citizens. It takes time to learn, really learn, that it is acceptable to demand accountability of institutions and of governments, and I don't see that happening overnight.

But it is happening, slowly. Every Chinese American I've talked to of college age knows about these quotas, and I don't think these first generation Americans will stand for their children being treated in the same manner.


Yan Shen said...

Best line from the article. Well said, Rich Lowry!

"This accounts for what must be the first mass effort of a minority group
to “pass as white” since Jim Crow. If nothing else, you can see the
emotional appeal of favoring black applicants over whites as a tiny,
belated step toward making right a grave historical injustice. (Of
course, the white applicants did nothing to deserve this mark against
them.) But what have Asian-Americans ever done to anyone else? Do the
sons and daughters of Asian immigrants immediately arrive on these
shores and begin repressing Caucasians with their famously diligent
studies and high test scores, such that the panjandrums of higher
education must redress the imbalance with pro-white discrimination?"

qc32p491993 said...

A question from the wicked boy:

I'm stupid. Explain to me how these
complaints are any different than a white person complaining that black
people, for example, get admitted to schools with lower average SAT
scores, and advocating that fewer black people be admitted, because we
live in a meritocracy and yadda yadda?  

Keeping in mind, by the way, that "making right a grave historical injustice" is not the only and perhaps not even the primary current justification for affirmative action.

Also: It seems to me that the average Asian student has higher SAT scores than the average student of any other ethnic category does not imply that any given Asian student "needs a certain score to get in" to a school any more than the same could be said for a white student, given the average white SAT score. Whites aren't entitled to a spot at Harvard by virtue of their SAT scores relative to blacks or hispanics (neither are blacks or hispanics by virtue of their race/ethnicity). How about doing more to stand out like everyone else has to do? Take a year off and go help some poor brown children in some far-flung country like all the white kids seem to love to do, for instance.

Yan Shen said...

"Explain to me how these complaints are any different than a white person
complaining that black people, for example, get admitted to schools
with lower average SAT scores, and advocating that fewer black people be
admitted, because we live in a meritocracy and yadda yadda?

There is no difference. However, once white Americans realize that they're on the losing end of meritocracy, many of them seem to swallow their principles whole. I suspect that in reality most white Americans who complain about affirmative action vis-a-vis blacks and Hispanics are motivated more by perceived ethnic self-interest rather than principled universalism.

ytrewq123 said...

"By the
way, it's nice to realize that there are still a few principled white
Americans out there, people like Rich Lowry, Daniel Golden, Kara Miller,
etc. Reading these people is a welcome relief compared to reading the
comments posted by the David Versaces of the world, who seem to derail
every Steve Hsu post on this important issue with their ceaseless

This comment is completely baseless. If you keep reading WN crap, you'll find only WN-style views everywhere. What evidence is there that the majority of  whites are pro Asian quota?

qc32p491993 said...

One man's modus tollens is indeed another's modus ponens, it seems.

What do you mean by 'principled universalism'? Because you seem to be
using it to mean the universal application of a principle (in this case
the principle of affirmative action). If whites are "swallowing their
principles whole" in response to being on the "losing end of
meritocracy" relative to asians, then the "principles" they're
swallowing, I'm assuming, we can label affirmative action.

In which case you seem to be saying that:

(1) White Americans who complain that blacks and hispanics benefit from affirmative action are doing so out of self-interest

(2) rather than because they believe affirmative action should be applied universally.

(1) is intuitive and obvious. (2) doesn't seem to me to make any sense.

Why would white Americans complain about affirmative action that
benefits blacks if said whites believe affirmative action should be
applied universally?

Yan Shen said...

Aren't you pointlessly nit-picking over linguistic detail because otherwise you would have no substantive point to make?

By principled universalism, I mean the belief that the same set of rules should apply equally to everyone. Whites should be held to the same academic standard as blacks or Hispanics or East Asians or anyone else in the eyes of college admissions committees.

Historically, when white Americans have complained that blacks and Hispanics were benefiting from affirmative action policies, they often invoked the idea that everyone should be held to the same academic standard regardless of race.

Of course, sometimes people engage in both deception and quite possibly even self-deception. The only way to truly determine whether or not white Americans actually believe in principled meritocracy is to see how they react when they're on the losing end of the very principles they supposedly embrace. Here we have a very instructive data point. White Americans, who used to argue along the very same lines that people like myself are arguing now, all of a sudden to have swallowed whole the idea that everyone should be held to the same academic standard regardless of race. In such a case, it's obvious to infer that perhaps the real motivation for many white Americans in speaking out against affirmative action for blacks and Hispanics, was actually perceived ethnic self-interest.

qc32p491993 said...

(1) To answer your question: No, I don't.
(2) To be clear: No, I haven't had any substantive points to make. I've only made inquiries. This was the purpose of my initial comment.(3) What you call 'linguistic nitpicking' I call a good-faith effort to clearly understand exactly what you mean. This is a sign of respect.Thanks for defining your terms—they were opaque to me in your previous comment, which now makes perfect sense.That said, I think you're mistaken in believing that white Americans "swallow[ing] whole the idea that everyone should be held to the same academic standard regardless of race" represents something nefarious or a hypocritical reversal when their self-interest is threatened.Affirmative action is obviously contrary to a perfectly academically meritocratic and race-blind selection process. This is not news. In a sense, you are partially correct that white Americans abandoned the ideal you mentioned, but this was hardly a secret and not in response to Asians "threatening" "their" spots at universities. Though perhaps you're generalizing differently than I am (*which* white americans are you talking about, exactly?).

Sam H said...

Aside from the networking bennies associated with going from an elite school you would think that since there is a quota limit for the categories "Asian" and "White" employers would automatically adjust for this, unless they are just looking for brand names. For example, before Michelle Obama was Michelle Obama you would think that employers may consider her on par with an Asian or White from 2nd tier school, since everyone knows that Asians and Whites face discrimination with regards to elite colleges. But of course large law firms have to have quota too to avoid disparate impact lawsuits, so there's the other wrench......

tractal said...

Well, Asians will just work harder. Step into the library at any university any time and Asian populations are dramatically over-represented. White kids do not need to work nearly as hard. Whites have a lot less at stake vis a vis job prospects and family pressure. Especially at tier two institutions, a lot of people are just looking for a degree. The pressure on the Chinese student paying 20 grand tuition at UofO is in a totally different class. These students might not be the cognitive elite, but their going to an American university is still a pretty big deal to their families. 

As for the university quotas, frankly you had better get used to it. Americans in general will not stand for the kind of over-representation which would occur by 'fair' GPA/SAT metrics. The ivy league would probably be 60% Asian. Race matters, even though we pretend it doesn't. Expecting a country to actively create an elite from ethnically foreign recent immigrants is fantasy, even in the U.S. If Ashkenazim moved to China for economic opportunity and crushed the entrance exams until they made up 60% of the elite population you would see caps immediately, and probably explicitly. No country anywhere really wants an elite of first and second generation foreigners. 

Quotas are obviously a kind of ideological hypocrisy. The race blind norms are coming into conflict with a trickle of ethnic feeling. Expecting or advocating the race blind norms come what may misses a lot about human beings. Taken to the logical extreme, we can easily imagine a situation 90% of the top candidates would be Asian (ETS decides to weight the SAT-M more because of predictive power, elite Chinese universities become smaller and increase tuition, etc). Even in the proposition nation, that will not be tolerated. It could happen only in the world where humans have no ethnic loyalties whatever. And in that world, adcom discrimination against Asians would be about as important to you as discrimination against Nerds. 

qc32p491993 said...

To shift from 'inquiry' to 'working hypothesis' mode, I think I can understand all this resentment. Asian immigrants have adapted a little too well to an unjust social scheme, just as people more broadly have been coming to realize the unjustness of said social scheme. The similarities to the Jewish quotas of earlier generations is only superficial. That's a bummer, but arguing for your own narrow self-interest loudly in this case is a little, well, narrow, and it comes across as atavistic. 

At Harvard, 'meritocracy' has been a four-letter word for a while now, and the rest of the country is catching up fast. High SAT scores are not the summum bonnum of education, and going to Harvard or any elite school is not the only way to lead a well-lived life. Admission criteria at most schools don't operate on the MIT / Caltech pure-computing-power model. But those schools are there. So apply to those if you like.

Or, you can do more to distinguish yourself. Perhaps the real problem here is that Asian immigrant parents come from a culture that places too much emphasis, by American standards, on falling in rather than standing out. At a certain point, prepping for the SATs begins to yield to diminishing returns. And a hundred-point differential on your ETS report is not going to help you stand out from the pack--especially if there are a ton of other applicants who are equally high scoring and equally dull otherwise. 

That's the point where you should start considering doing something interesting with your life. At least, if you want to get into Harvard. Or you could stop pathologically obsessing over getting into Harvard (et al.) and apply to different kinds of schools that operate on the more purely meritocratic model. (This in particular is not just an Asian thing--a lot of people could stand to stop this, actually.)

Law Student said...

Is it really a problem for Americans to save most of their university slots for...Americans?  I'd like to see Asian countries invite their universities to become 40% white.  I'm sure they'd LOVE that.

Asians are already like 20% of most Ivies.  Many times your population percent.  You're not "discriminated" against at all.  Now shut up.  It's not our fault you can't play baseball or football or hockey.  Harvard needs to filll its teams.  Caltech doesn't.  That's why Caltech can be all Asian. 

This is why most colleges have interviews, so the sneaky deceptive asian trying to pass as white will be found out for the sneaky deceptive asian he is.

Steve Sailer said...

I was informed in 1981 that Harvard-Westlake, the top prep school in Los Angeles, was requiring higher test scores of Asian applicants.

Guy_Brodude said...

We're talking about Asian-[i]Americans[/i] here. Anybody born in America is an American by any reasonable definition.

steve hsu said...

"Harvard needs to filll its teams."

Espenshade removed recruited athletes and legacies from his sample before computing the  relative SAT advantages of different groups and the odds ratios of admission at fixed SAT, GPA.

qc32p491993 said...

Here. Apply to this to your outsized sense of aggrievement and call me in the morning:

"Admission to Harvard–Westlake is competitive. We
are looking for bright and active students who have the ability to
contribute to the school community and have the potential to be
successful and happy at Harvard–Westlake. We consider the following: the
information given on the application; the student’s academic records,
essay, and test scores; the teachers’ and school’s recommendations; the
student’s talents, character, and leadership qualities; and information
gathered during the interview at Harvard–Westlake.

Each applicant is reviewed by at least two faculty members and
discussed by the Admission Committee, which is comprised of deans,
school administrators, faculty and members of the admission staff. No
one factor is weighted more than another as the Admission Committee
considers whether an applicant is a good fit for Harvard–Westlake. The
school seeks to create a diverse community of engaged learners."Let's be frank here: Is all this resentment really just over white women? Because a lot of them are into Asian guys now, you know. It's a new age. Be cool.

qc32p491993 said...

"Is it really a problem for Americans to save most of their university slots for...Americans?"

You disgust me.

Brett Olsen said...

I just wish the universities would stop lying about it.  It's not like they're fooling anyone.

Brett Olsen said...

FYI, Caltech is the one that doesn't use quotas.  MIT is as quota-ridden as the rest of them.  I'll venture to state that that's why Caltech's graduates are better.

Brett Olsen said...

I don't think there's anything intrinsically wicked about American universities preferring Americans over foreigners.  Is there some reason that you think it is?

Brett Olsen said...

And you're reading an "outsized sense of aggrievement" into that comment because...?

ytrewq123 said...

They're perennial furriners because they're yellow?

ytrewq123 said...

The sneaky deceptive Asian? Wow! What's sneaky and deceptive really is universities that won't be explicit about what criteria they're using to penalize Asians. You're a loser and a bigot, and probably a low-IQ one at that. 

qc32p491993 said...

Because the commenter claimed Harvard-Weslake "requires" higher test
scores of Asian applicants. In light of some of the other comments on
here, I'm assuming that logical slip was the product of blinding
resentment. But strictly speaking, you're right -- maybe it was just the result of sloppy thinking.

qc32p491993 said...

How do you know they're lying? It's not as if there's a vast conspiracy motivated by anti-Asian racism out there. Is that what you think is going on? Maybe it is, but if so at least be explicit with the claim. It'll help people understand where you're coming from a bit better.

qc32p491993 said...

No. What's distasteful to me is the conflation of foreign Asians with Asian-Americans and the cynicism of apparently thinking that excluding people solely on the basis of their ethnicity is "the way the world works".

qc32p491993 said...

Really? I thought MIT was like that too. That's kind of disappointing.
Let's say Caltech and Berkeley, then.

Steve Sailer said...

I pointed out that I was informed in 1981 by a Harvard-Westlake teacher that his famous school was requiring higher test scores of Asians than of whites for admission because Dr. Hsu is interested in how far back this phenomenon goes. I can say it goes back at least 30 years. 

qc32p491993 said...

I see. Then I have a hard time believing (1) that this report was worded as such, and (2) that this report was an accurate description of the school's actual policy. At least one of those, I strongly suspect, is false. It's highly implausible to me that by 1981 you'd find a school with such an explicit ethnic quota. I could be wrong, of course -- it just seems outlandish. 

tractal said...

With respect, that does not seem to be the point at issue. Very likely the case Steve mentions was not an explicit policy, but rather ad hoc and unwritten. The point seems to  be just that Asian quotas/higher standards are a longstanding issue. 

botti said...

***MIT is as quota-ridden as the rest of them.***

They appear to also be concerned about faculty representation:

"MIT must do a better job recruiting and
retaining black and Hispanic faculty, who have a significantly more
difficult time getting promoted than white and Asian colleagues,
according to a frank internal study released today by the university.

In some departments, such as
chemistry, mathematics, and nuclear science and engineering, no
minorities have been hired in the last two decades, according to the
report, which was more than two years in the making.

MIT's first comprehensive study of faculty racial diversity and the
experiences of underrepresented minority professors highlights a
national problem across academia: the need to improve the pipeline of
black and Hispanic scholars.

Blacks and Hispanics make up only 6 percent of MIT faculty, an
increase of 4.5 percent since 2000 but far below the university's goal
of achieving parity with the nation, where underrepresented minorities
make up 30 percent of the population.

5371 said...

Do you work for this institution?

LaurentMelchiorTellier said...

I don't get what there is to misunderstand here - Steve obviously isn't talking about an explicit policy "report" or document, but rather about a witness anecdote, which is in support of fairly obvious and undisputed facts on discrimination.

that_bastard_weezy said...

sineruse, your comments here are VERY interesting.  Do you have a blog or something (with links to the papers you cite)?

steve hsu said...

I'm traveling right now so don't have time to respond to all your points.

I don't have Espenshade's book to check this, but the quote below from a US News article agrees with what I recall. It certainly looks like he controlled for legacy and recruited athlete status when computing odds ratios.

"Espenshade found that when comparing applicants with similar grades, scores, athletic qualifications, and family history for seven elite private colleges and universities:

Whites were three times as likely to get fat envelopes as Asians.
Hispanics were twice as likely to win admission as whites.
African-Americans were at least five times as likely to be accepted as whites."

Of course, it would be good to see some more recent data on what has been going on. In a complex process like admissions it takes detailed analysis to figure out what is going on. It's certainly possible that abuses in the 80s and 90s have been corrected, but I would be surprised by that since the Asian percentages at the Ivies hasn't changed. Of course it's possible that the strength of the non-Asian applicant pool went up to compensate for fairer admissions practices for Asians, but it doesn't seem plausible to me.

qc32p491993 said...

"report" in the sense of "reported speech".

qc32p491993 said...

Perhaps I'm mistaken, but it seems like that's exactly the point at issue. That is, we're talking about the "Asian quota" issue and whether "it goes back at least 30 years." A datum of sorts was provided in support of the existence of said issue and the claim that it's been around for at least 30 years, but I'm skeptical that said datum is valuable as evidence. Not enough to rule out the possibility that the school's admissions policy was just but that either the teacher in question or the commenter reporting the teacher's speech are misconstruing said admissions policy as unjust.

sineruse said...

Steve (S.), I think qc32 makes a good point: there are nondiscriminatory admissions procedures that could easily have been summarized and paraphrased as "requiring higher test scores" from "Asians". Especially 30 years ago when there was no spotlight on the issue and simple population observations, such as enrolled Asians having a higher average score than whites, would have been taken (incorrectly) as equivalent to a race-based score requirement.  On your blog you often point out the fallacy of similar deductions in the case of employment discrimination cases and EEOC disparity criteria. 

For purposes of inferring how universities run their admission in this millenium, it is hard to see what a 1981 account from a high school adds to the more detailed and publicly reported 1986-90 information from Stanford, Harvard and the US government, but never mind.  The current Asian discrimination meme asserts that there is *universal* disparate treatment of Asians in most competitive academic admissions in the USA, affecting all (East?) Asian applicants at most of the top schools, and the statement that "this phenomenon goes back to 1981" is a claim that your source's anecdote supports the same comprehensive premise about admissions 30 years ago.  Having a lone discriminatory high school or a small fraction of such is much less interesting and does not support the meme; you and those taking your report at face value are saying that Harvard-Westlake is a tiny part of a national discrimination juggernaut encompassing elite high schools and colleges alike.    Given the strength of the claim, I think qc32's argument deserves an answer, i.e., an explanation of the totality of what the source told you, from which third parties could infer whether it meant:

-higher scores required for Asians, all other qualifications being equal (discrimination)
-higher scores typically being required for Asians, due to a stereotypical but statistically correct idea that the scores might be inflated by diligence (discriminatory but can be fair)
-higher scores typically being required for Asians, to offset perceived weakness on subjective factors such as "leadership" (could be discriminatory or not depending on accuracy rate of the perceptions)
-higher scores typically being required for any applicant with application weaknesses such as worse recommendations, with that situation occurring more often for Asians (disparate impact, but non-discriminatory)
-or any number of other possibilities, such as "no basis to judge".

Law Student said...

Again, do you see Asians being ok with their universities becoming 40% white?  The universities THEY built, the country THEY built?  Because as America becomes browner and poorer, you best be sure more whites will move to Asia, and I'll be looking forward to Asians welcoming whites to take their jobs, college educations, and women like you want to do here.

Law Student said...

I'm a realist.  Universities aren't penalizing Asians; you get much more than you deserve, actually, considering the lack of skills you bring to the table besides rote memorization and test taking ability.

Law Student said...

If anything Asians are disciminated FOR in law hiring, believe it or not.

Yan Shen said...

"higher scores typically being required for Asians, due to a
stereotypical but statistically correct idea that the scores might be
inflated by diligence"

I've heard this claim repeated ad nauseam by white nationalist types. Let's ignore the question of whether or not Asian scores are in fact inflated by test prep and if so by how much. As an aside though, studies generally show that the SAT is fairly g-loaded and not significantly amenable to extensive test prep.

It's absolutely ridiculous and perverse to suggest that we should start discounting people's test scores by how much we believe they prepared for the exam. It makes zero sense. How can it make sense to start punishing people simply for studying and working hard? In real life, we accept that a person's scores/accomplishments/etc are the result of their innate intelligence, how hard they work, random luck, etc.

Let's say that we have two people who are equally intelligent. Both of them have a history exam coming up. One person doesn't study for it at all and fails it. The other person studies for it and aces it. Should the teacher think to himself, "Well the difference in test scores between the two was simply due to one person studying for the exam a lot harder than the other. In actuality, their baseline IQ is the same. Therefore, I should really give both of them the same preparation-adjusted mark on the exam..."

Do you see how absurd this would be? We might as well not even make people study or learn anything anymore and simply just use their baseline IQ to assign them scores on every other test.

tractal said...

The point of the SAT is to measure G not conscientiousness. And even if you wanted to measure conscientiousness you would still have to discount Asian scores for the Tiger Mom effect. 

At any rate Universities want to know G. If a population studies harder it might make sense to  dock their scores on average as long as you know 1) that they really do study harder and 2) that studying harder really inflates scores and 3) that there is no more efficient or accurate way to discern who in the target population really studies harder. 

We are all assuming 1) so lets just let it stand. 2) is more interesting. There is apparently data which says you can't study for the SAT/GRE type tests. But that just does not seem true. Learning test taking strategies, high frequency wordlists for verbal, getting intense and focused training on the math concepts tested all seem effective. The existence of so many prep centers suggests the same thing. Most centers regularly boost student scores +50 per section from initial diagnostic. 

But it is still an open question. On the one hand we have serious research (albeit often instigated by the test manufacturer) and on the other hand we have the prosaic observation that a lot of test prep gets done, and that some of the material on the SAT (vocabulary, math concepts) is obviously learnable. 

My intuition says that extensive prep can give you at least 50 points per section. I certainly gained more than that by studying for the GRE. 

tractal said...

Also your blatant racialism makes your position incoherent. If it is really "my people" vs "your people" why should we even care about fairness at all? Doesn't it just come down to brute power? 

highly_adequate said...

What a weird reply.

In the end, the point of the SAT and like tests is to measure potential for certain kinds of positive outcomes. Some of these outcomes are fairly immediate, such as first year college GPA. Some of them may be very long term, such as success in a career years after leaving college. Suppose admissions officers perceive that adjusting the scores for preparation, essentially introducing a level playing field in measuring the inherent ability they are trying to tease out, would give a more reliable prediction of the outcomes they are interested in. If they could do so with accuracy and without incurring an issue of discrimination, then I don't see how that is perverse rather than reasonable.

You insist on regarding intense preparation for this test as reflecting only a virtue, and therefore unfair to try to correct for. The problem is, among others, that this virtue -- conscientiousness -- is already being factored into the equation in a number of other ways in an individual's application, most obviously in the GPA; allowing it to increase SAT scores without adjustment might well amount to "overcounting" it. Admissions officers are rightly interested in qualities in addition to conscientiousness, because those qualities are very important as well in bringing about the outcomes of interest. 

And let's be honest here. While East Asians have certainly done well in their proportion of representation at high levels in the SAT, and in their representation in elite schools, I don't see how anyone can make a serious case that they have done anywhere nearly as well in the real world, not even in the STEM fields they often prefer. Insofar as admissions officers are seeking to stock their student body with individuals who are likely to succeed at the very highest levels, the sort of students who seem most often to be found among the East Asian cohort seem to be rather poor in the dispositions of interest.

In this sense, there's a better argument to be made that too many East Asians have been admitted, rather than too few.

Yan Shen said...

So, if you believe that the SAT is significantly amenable to test prep despite studies to the contrary which claim that it is fairly g-loaded, the solution should be to make the SAT even more g-loaded than it currently is. The real question is, will that help Europeans relative to East Asians or hurt them?

There are many tests much more difficult than the SATs, like for instance the USAMO, where East Asian Americans are even more disproportionately over-represented.

tractal said...

Hey look everyone who disagrees is a white nationalist. They don't call this the internet for nothing. 

As for your points, I don't think anyone is arguing that the SAT is not significantly G loaded. But even if it has a high G component and a relatively small preparation component, studying could still create the Asian:White delta. The 'discrimination' we are talking about is probably a 100 point dock from Asian test scores. That position only commits itself to saying that training can effect a relatively small boost. 

Second, there is no reason to encourage whites to SAT prep more per se. In a sense this looks like a traditional collective action problem, with Asian's exploiting the fact that insane studying can boost scores. If White parents sent their kids to cram schools, (so goes the argument) everyone would get the boost, no one would win, but everyone would have to endure the rather pointless misery of 150 hours of test prep. Studying for the SAT is almost completely unproductive and there is no reason to encourage people to do it. Punishing people for going to cram school is actually a much more efficient policy than encouraging everyone else to go to cram school.

We want to know your SAT G not your SAT G + 200 points.  

highly_adequate said...

I don't understand the relevance of AIME/USAMO tests here. They are taken only on a voluntary basis, so far as I know. Also, they are not, apparently, designed as tests of g, strictly speaking; rather they are tests of high level skills in math -- which skills may be greatly affected by preparation.

You ask, why shouldn't "whites" just work harder? Well, that would be a reasonable point, IF it were the case that East Asians were much more successful in the long run than whites who do comparably well in terms of GPA and SAT.

The problem is, they don't. While East Asians may, for example, constitute 20% of the students in elite STEM programs, they don't ever achieve 20%, or anything near that, at the top most levels of achievement in the various STEM professions. As an admittedly crude example of this, go to the list of "computer programmers" on Wiki; while this is something of a hodgepodge group, one thing that's remarkable is the dearth of East Asian names; I count only 3 such names among the app. 300 names listed -- i.e., 1%.

In the face of this kind of relatively poor outcome from the sort of attributes that East Asian students bring to the table, how can it possibly be reasonable to argue that whites should learn to imitate East Asians, rather than the other way around?

Yan Shen said...

In other words, whites are too lazy to study harder, therefore let's just bash Asians instead and demand their scores be discounted, which I presume is the far easier thing to do.

Yan Shen said...

"it were the case that East Asians were much more successful in the long
run than whites who do comparably well in terms of GPA and SAT."

Well that doesn't make much sense. Why should we expect East Asians to do much better than whites on an IQ adjusted basis?

I'm not sure what we can infer from your admittedly crude example. What we need are statistics showing how the most recent East Asian American cohorts fare compared to their white counterparts, not how East Asians globally have fared compared to the entire Western world since the mid 1900s.

tractal said...

But why not? If SAT test prep is an objective waste of time it seems more rational to disincentivize it than encourage everyone to do it. 

If Asians are simply inflating their score by test specific training it is in societies interest to penalize them, along with the minority of elite whites who likely share their test prep ritual. 

Yan Shen said...

What are white kids doing that is so important that they can't be bothered to study harder? Smoking weed? Getting wasted?

5371 said...

Terry Tao? Ngo Bao Chau? Never heard of them.

5371 said...

What ethnic group do you belong to, and what skills does it bring to the table?

sineruse said...

You missed the word "East Asian-AMERICAN".   The question of admission discrimination is exclusively about the US domestic admissions to selective universities and whether Asian-Americans are disadvantaged compared to white Americans.   Foreigners (whether from Australia, Vietnam Europe or wherever else) who come to the US elite schools at the undergraduate, graduate school, postdoc or tenure stage are selected by a far more demanding process and as such it is expected that they will outperforming Asian-Americans, white Americans and all others.  This is particularly true in math and physics, and it is why Yan Shen mistakenly asserted the common misconception that there is a disproportion of Chinese-American names in the list of Putnam competition winners and high scorers; in reality, most of them are foreign students from China, Canada, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore who were admitted to US schools *because* they earned gold medals at IMO or IPhO.   Caltech, MIT, Stanford and others recruit IMO medalists to boost their Putnam performance, and if you consider only US students, East-Asian-Americans are *hugely underrepresented* on the list of winners compared to their number on the list of USAMO qualifiers and winners in high school.

Yan Shen said...

"Chinese immigrants' heads tend to explode when confronted with the
statistical facts of declining E.Asian performance further along the
math pipeline and especially in the competitions."

Let's restrict our analysis solely to East Asian Americans. For years you've argued on College Confidential that East Asian American over-representation declined as you went from the USAMO to the IMO. I haven't examined the statistics carefully, but I'd say that you were probably right. Over say the past 10-15 years, East Asian Americans probably made up something like 55-60% of all USAMO competitors, but "only" 40-45% of IMO competitors.

So what have you managed to prove? That East Asian Americans are vastly over-represented at the USAMO level and still vastly over-represented at the IMO level.

sineruse said...

The point (though it is also fun to rub it in the face of Asian genetic supremacists, that is just a side bonus) was that these competitions provide a whopping counterexample to the automatic interpretation of Espenshade and Chung studies as a signal of "discrimination", because the math competitions are not discriminatory or culturally biased selection, but they impose a far worse odds ratio on US E. Asians than anything seen in the Espenshade studies.  

Yan Shen said...

If I were an East Asian supremacist, which I'm not, I don't think you would rubbing it in my face by pointing out to me that East Asian Americans were still over-represented by a factor of roughly 9x at the IMO level.

5371 said...

Your claim is that for white applicants to be favoured over asian applicants with the same test scores is reasonable. 
Sailer is well known for claiming that for black applicants to be favoured over white applicants with the same test scores is not reasonable.
You are not saying the same thing as him, but the opposite thing. Lawyerly pettifogging about the meaning of 'discrimination' does not succeed in obscuring this.

sineruse said...

Your message crossed with my edits.  I would be interested in your or Steve Hsu's opinion (or rather: data) on the larger point raised: if there are "many Ivy League schools that discriminate" and, of course, many more non-Ivy schools doing the same, all this going on for decades, then in what domain can we find the Asian overperformance this must imply?     Asian is a negative predictor for law school and medical outcomes. It is a negative predictor of grades, according to Espenshade and other studies, though grades are an unreliable measure.   US E. Asians are underrepresented in Harvard and Princeton valedictorians and MIT Phi Beta Kappas.  They get less than their share of biology prizes at UC Berkeley MCB department.  None of these data sources is that large but don't you think on probabilistic grounds alone that there has to be *some* metric where E. Asians outperform others post-college?   If not in college GPA, medicine, law, or theoretical g-loaded science fields, then what?   Lists of top Wall St traders (e.g., Alpha magazine)?   A huge list of Asian valedictorians at tier 2 schools who were locked out of the top tier? 15+ years of Asian PhD students who disproportionately get thesis prizes or early career awards or tenure offers at high ranked universities? 

NOBODY has ever pointed to an example.  It seems like a glaring omission if you believe in unfair discrimination.  If you are asking that the degree of meritocracy be reduced so that Asians can have more spots, that is not a politically compelling argument.

Yan Shen said...

Please read what I've copied and pasted from the Lynn article and also my reference to Silicon Valley.

At a minimum, I don't think its unreasonable to suggest that East Asian Americans be present at elite colleges to the same degree that they're over-represented amongst IMO competitors or Putnam Fellows.

sineruse said...

You did not answer the question.   US E Asians are overrepresented only relative to national population share in engineering professorships etc. The question was to find some selection (1) in the past couple of decades (2) where the proportion increases along the pipeline (3) for East Asian *Americans*.  Your example data set starts in 1969, pumps up the numbers with foreign students and adult immigrants (i.e., people from a super-selected  pool of the most talented Asians all over the world, not only the USA), and counts eminent engineers relative to US population instead of the natural selection pool such as US engineering majors or those at high ranked tech schools.  If Asians are 4x overrepresented (vs US population) in STEM majors or 6x at the tech schools that produce Whos Who engineers then the 3.08 "performance coefficient" is under-performance.

Yan Shen said...

Is there any reason why you deliberately state that the study referenced by Lynn only deals with engineers when the coefficients he cites for science is actually higher than the engineering coefficient? I've noticed that this is something white nationalist types often like to do, i.e. insist that East Asian Americans only excel at engineering.

sineruse said...

As the word "etc" indicated, "engineering" is simply a shorthand for the different fields and forms of eminence considered.    The entire study, for any of the fields mentioned, does not address the question, unless you can somehow restrict it to the subset who attended US high schools in the past few decades, and then recalculate it relative to the number of Asian engineering (resp., science, architecture, law, etc) majors or some other proximate prior selection point such as the number of E. Asian American PhD's in those fields.   Just as the performance coefficient in engineering was quite possibly below 1.00 in such an analysis, the coefficient for law could actually have been above 1.00, if Chinese studied law at less than their share of the population.   Moreover, in a study of men who reached eminence 50 years ago, it would be a surprise to *not* have discrimination (i.e., admitting less capable whites over more capable Asians) for that generation, and this would indeed generate statistical overperformance.  

The question, again, is whether a similar signal can be found in recent times, with the US East Asians who supposedly were held to a higher standard of ability *demonstrating* (in some domain) that their ability is higher, by clearly outperforming (on some metric) the US whites held to a lower standard of ability, after the admission.   Show, don't tell.

Yan Shen said...

""engineering" is simply a shorthand for the different fields and forms of eminence considered.  "

I've never heard anyone use engineer as a shorthand to refer to physicists, biologists, chemists, architects, lawyers, etc. This must be something unique to the white nationalist crowd.

"The question, again, is whether a similar signal can be found in recent
times, with the US East Asians who supposedly were held to a higher
standard of ability *demonstrating* (in some domain) that their ability
is higher, by clearly outperforming (on some metric) the US whites held
to a lower standard of ability, after the admission. "

Since by your own numbers East Asian Americans are over-represented amongst Putnam Fellows(this is after college admissions) to a greater extent than they are amongst the student body at elite universities, you've already answered your own question.

As far as I know, it's hard to tell how the current generation of East Asian Americans cohorts are performing relative to their white American counterparts in the real world in the US. Much of the data we have is either 1) time lagged and therefore applicable to earlier generations 2) is global and therefore not merely restricted to recent East Asian American/white American cohorts. I would wager though along the lines of Lynn and my reference to Silicon Valley that the answer to your question is affirmative.

Law Student said...

I belong to the ethnic group that built American culture and universities, and made almost all of the world's innovations. 

I'm smarter than the vast majority of white people and I think attitutes like mine will catch on among them.  I don't hate Asians as people.  But while most white Americans are cowered into worrying about being "racist", I'm a realist.  East Asians have built successful nations and have certain talents.  My issue is with Asians coming to America and almost immediately expecting some of our best jobs and women.  You're good at technology, computers, engineering, etc.  The deal is, you get comfortable lives here, where you can make a decent living and raise a family. 

The issue is when Asians start demanding more.  You don't deserve more.  You need to pay your dues.  You didn't build our culture or our universities.  You already get many times more representation there than you have in the public.  You have no right to complain.  If there is discrimination, it's extremely slight when athletics and legacies are included.  Studies show that "red state" whites are discriminated against much more in elite admissions.

David Coughlin said...

Practically speaking, an r value around ~0.7-0.8 indicates a gross relationship and still admits a lot of variability due to other factors. 

There is a material distinction between 'is' and 'is primarily'.  You argument and indignation would be served better by rooting out the other factors.  This problem begs for a bayesian treatment with tighter controls.

davidwbudd said...

That anyone in 2011 (almost 2012) could pretend to be surprised by these "revelations" I find shocking.  I would ask Dr Hsu (a physicist, apparently) if it is possible, within the boundaries of classic, Newtonian physics, to get one's head sufficiently far inside one's internal cavities to be unaware of this reality?  Maybe that question is outside his speciality, and ought to be directed to an anatomist?

What I also find surprising is that (believe it or not) there are groups like "Chinese for Affirmative Action" in California.  I am sure that there probably were Christians who listed themselves as amongst the supporters of the local Lions Clubs in Rome, but one has to be pretty suicidal, or deranged, or totally in denial I would think.

qc32p491993 said...

And you're a law student. That is amazing. This really is the land of opportunity.


qc32p491993 said...

Last time, on Dog the Redneck Lawyer:
Dog meets some new arrivals, Gary Zhou and Jimmy Chang, who are passing through town with their punk-folk fusion band.  

Dog: "Stay the fuck away from our women!"
Gary and Jimmy: "Uhh...ok...."
Dog: "Go back to your country! My people built this country! This is our country!"
Jimmy: "We're from San Diego."

highly_adequate said...

Your responses always are disappointing in how they fail to come to terms with the points I'm obviously making.

Look, I mentioned that the list from Wikipedia clearly had some flaws as a point of evaluation of Asian success in the larger world. Probably just about any such list is going to present some deficits for the methodology.

Nonetheless, it's almost impossible to get around the numbers presented in that list: namely, again, of app 300 entries for computer programmers, by my count only 3 -- 1% -- were East Asian. That's a number that just can't easily be explained away. If it were, say, 15%, or even 10%, it might suffice to say that the number is reduced because the most current cohort of computer programmers has not yet made its mark, and so East Asians, who skew in their numbers toward more recent decades, simply aren't showing up.

But there's no way a showing like 1% can be thus explained away. The majority of these computer programmers have made their mark in pretty recent years -- certainly recent enough that it was already true that East Asians were already represented in good numbers in elite STEM programs. The controversy over supposed quotas on Asians goes back to the mid eighties -- clearly, if there was a supposed effort to suppress Asian representation, then they were already very robustly represented.

But the cohorts of that era should now be the leaders of this era in so recent a discipline as computer programming. I have very little doubt -- do you? -- that, in elite Computer Science programs from that era to this, East Asians constituted 20% or more of the students. If Computer Science was their focus and career, how did they disappear from view, all the way down to low single digit percentages at the highest levels of achievement?

The Great Disappearance of The East Asians is the thing you have to explain and justify, if you really think others should agree with you that they deserve only higher representation in elite programs. You have not done a single thing to offer up such a justification -- instead, all we get from you is further obfuscation of this absolutely key issue.

As I argued above, and contrary to your exhortations, The Great Disappearance of The East Asians makes about the best possible case for finding ways to REDUCE the numbers of the type of students that East Asians mold themselves into.

highly_adequate said...

And, just to quickly address the smoke you are trying to throw up over tests of g, let me just say this.

If you don't understand the power of the selection factor in tests such as AIME/USAMO to distort representation of different groups, then it's a waste of time arguing with you.

As far as the susceptibility of the SAT to coaching, it's important to bear in mind that even an apparently small average change for an individual, such as 40 points on a given section -- so small that it may not affect his chances very much in terms of where he gets in -- can quite significantly affect the numbers of the larger group of which he is a member at the upper ranges, even doubling the numbers who get beyond a fixed high threshold, such as represented by a score 2.5 SD to the right (typical of elite programs and awards).

And it's also worthwhile to remember that the SAT is also, apparently, amenable to improvement due to intensive academic work independent of any coaching. That's one important factor in the improvement of SAT scores from sophomore to junior to senior year in HS. So if one comes from a culture in which academic preparation in HS is greatly emphasized, one is likely to improve one's SAT scores for that reason as well, presumably further adding to one's SAT scores beyond any coaching effect.

Now you may argue that such intensive academic work is only to be admired, and so such students shouldn't be penalized. Again, that would be a good argument IF such students in fact in the long run did as well as all their indices might indicate.

But, again, my previous point recurs: they don't. East Asians suffer The Great Disappearance. For whatever reason, all that extra work early on, while sufficient to get them the opportunity to attend elite programs, doesn't pay off in the way society wants: in terms of the highest levels of achievement.

Yan Shen said...

"Your responses always are disappointing in how they fail to come to terms with the points I'm obviously making."

"From Lynn

difference is also picked up in the United States in performance on the
Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), on which ethnic Orientals invariably do
better than Caucasians on the mathematics test (largely a measure of
general intelligence and visuospatial ability) but less well than
Caucasians on the verbal test (Wainer, 1988). A further manifestation of
the strong visuospatial and weak verbal abilities of ethnic O1-iental
Americans lies in their tendency to do well in professions like science,
architecture and engineering which call for strong visuospatial
abilities and poorly in law which calls for strong verbal abilities.
This pattern of occupational achievement has been well documented by
Weyl (1969, 1989) in his studies of the achievements of the major
American ethnic populations. His method involves the analysis of the
frequencies of ethnic names among those who have achieved occupational
distinction calculated in relation to their frequencies in the general
population. Thus he finds that common Chinese names like Wong are
greatly overrepresented in American Men and Women of Science, as
compared with their frequency in the general population, but under
represented in Who's Who in American Law. On the basis of this method he
constructs a performance co-efficient for which average achievement is
100. A co-efficient of 200 means that an ethnic group appears twice as
frequently in reference works of occupational distinction as would be
expected from its numbers in the total population, while a co-efficient
of 50 means that it appears half as often. In his first study he finds
that ethnic Chinese obtained performance co-efficients of 506 in
architecture, 308 in engineering and 438 in science but only 54 in law
(Weyl, 1969). His second study oil later data confirms this pattern for
the 1980s, when ethnic Chinese obtained a performance co-efficient for
science of 620, while for law their performance co-efficient was only
24. "

It's also long been noted that Chinese Americans are
disproportionately over-represented, along with Indian Americans, in the
Silicon Valley infrastructure. Think of prominent names such as Jerry
Yang of Yahoo, Jen Hsun Huang of Nvidia or Steven Chen of YouTube."

zk7 said...

The problem is that many of the institutions and the research, as well as the discussions, do not clearly distinguish between 'foreign Asians' and 'Asian Americans'.  In California, a parachute kid who spends 3 years at a California school, either a boarding school or U.S. taxpayer supported public school, is considered an 'Asian American'.  That is the problem.

zk7 said...

Someone born here also includes those whose mothers spend a couple days at a 'birthing center' for the sole purpose of gaming the system.  They are not somehow magically Americans.   And the bigger issues is the kids of the Asian elite coming here to attend college, and gaming the system in other ways to be considered Asian American.  And the institutions who are unable or unwilling to distinguish between the two.

zk7 said...

Unmentioned in any of these discussions is that the most significant AA discrimination takes place outside of college admissions.  Asian Americans and Asian immigrants are together the biggest per capita recipients of affirmative action preferences in U.S. government contract awarding through set asides and automatic bidding differentials and and 'small business' financing set asides for 'disadvantaged minorities',  and they are still receivers of preferences in corporate supplier preferences and in government job preferences.  The reason Asian American advocacy groups, as opposed to individuals like Steve, are mostly not joining in the 'outrage' about college admissions is because they know the score, and it can only threaten the real and very large preferences that Asians (both American and immigrants) continue to get. 

RKU1 said...

Most of what you say is absolutely correct, but as a mathematician (i.e. an academic specialist) I suspect you are somewhat at the mercy of standard sources in areas outside your field, and if these are misleading or dishonest (e.g. Gould) you can easily fall into error.

If you actually look at the most influential "racialist" authors from a century ago and the sources which they respected and drew upon, I doubt you'll find any widespread claims that East Asians such as Chinese "were intellectually sub-standard" and "thus should be kept out of the US because their lack of intelligence would dilute the US racial stock."  Or at least I didn't notice this sort of claim when I just recently read through exactly those writers.  The general opinion seemed to be that East Asians were about as smart as Europeans, and certainly much harder working.  In fact, this last point was the main argument for exclusion, since the feeling was that a vast inflow of impoverished Asians would greatly out-compete American white workers, and thereby destroy their standard of living.  Fairly similar arguments were advanced for excluding various European immigrants, though perhaps with a slightly greater tinge of "racial inferiority."

Meanwhile, the claim that European Jews were intellectually inferior seems an utter Gouldian canard.  In fact, E.A. Ross one of the most highly regarded sociologists of that era actually argued that Jewish immigrants were perhaps the highest ability group to ever enter America since the original Puritan settlers.  Concerns about Jewish immigration focused on entirely different traits and the problems they raised.  In particular, we must remember that the 1920s immigration activism came in the immediate aftermath of the Bolshevik Revolution, during which Russia's tiny population of Jews had seized total power and largely exterminated the Russian and German elites who had controlled the country for centuries.  Given the very strong personal and ideological ties between American Jews and their ruling Russian cousins, this made America's elites exceptionally nervous about sharing the same fate, and I strongly suspect this was the crucial driving factor in the legislation.

DavidVersace said...


sineruse said...

by your own numbers East Asian Americans are over-represented amongst

>Putnam Fellows(this is after college admissions) to a greater extent
than they are
>amongst the student body at elite universities.

No, they are under-represented, and enormously so.  You grossly inflated the Asian representation by supposing, absurdly, that the selection pool for Putnam Fellows was "the student body at elite universities".  Claiming that (US, E.) Asians overperform by this metric is as fallacious as citing Asian over-representation in the student body compared to the US population as proof that the same universities do not discriminate.

The US selection path to the Putnam high scores list is through USAMO qualification, not admission to elite universities.  Many of the high scorers on the Putnam do not attend an elite university, and few students at any university enter the Putnam contest.  Nobody who attended a US high school and reaches Honorable Mention or above on the Putnam (approximately the top 50 for US competitors) does so without having qualified for USAMO (approx. the top 450) at least once in high school.  If this has ever happened, even once, in the past decade, the incidence rate is very close to zero and has a negligible effect on the Asian/white ratios under discussion.  There is no tighter correlation, such as all the Putnam high scores coming from USAMO winners.  The prior selection pool is, unambiguously, the USAMO qualifiers.

Within the USAMO qualifiers in recent years, E.Asian to white ratios like 2:1 and 3:2 are reversed to 1:2 or 1:3 (in the same cohort) at the Putnam contest, with the ratio getting lower at the higher echelons on the Putnam.  The chances for an E.Asian who qualifies for USAMO to qualify for Putnam high score list are about 4 times lower than for a white qualifier.  Assuming that relatively more Asians leave the math pipeline for computer science, medicine, or other subjects (which is not particularly true at the top level), the odds might be only 2 or 3 times lower, but there is no way to avoid the observation that a large depletion in the Asian numbers is occuring under a pure meritocracy.

>I would wager though along the lines of Lynn and my reference to
Silicon Valley that the answer to your question is in the affirmative.

Richard Lynn is one of the authors of a study of MCAT scores overpredicting Asian performance.   Your reference to Silicon Valley was not backed by any evidence that Chinese-Americans are actually overrepresented there compared to the natural selection pools, such as US engineering graduates, or the same at the top 15 tech schools, or at schools in California.

RKU1 said...

I'll admit I never had more than a vague impression about those century-old writers and their general "disreputability", until a few weeks ago when I happened to discover that all their old books were available on the web at OpenLibrary.  Although their style was often quite old fashioned (hardly surprising given that they overlapped with Darwin) and some of them had strong ideological views, they seemed vastly better and less biased than I'd always imagined.

For example in his book covering Latin America, Ross described the extreme poverty and ignorance of the mostly Indian peasant population, then explicitly raised the question of how much of their backwardness was due to cultural/economic deprivation and how much was probably innate.  He provided various pieces  of evidence on both sides and came to no conclusion, but argued that issue was probably the single most important factor which would determine the continent's future development.  In various other cases, he pointed to the widespread popular belief that certain impoverished peoples were innately inferior to Europeans, then explained why this was almost certainly mistaken based on the clear evidence.  Obviously, any scholar who even broached these sorts of issues in today's academic world would be condemned and expunged, but I hardly think this reflects scientific objectivity.

Ross seems to have been one of the most widely quoted sources used by people like Madison Grant and Lothrop Stoddard, who were much more clearly ideological.  Perhaps for this reason, Ross's Wikipedia entry seemed to have a strong negative tinge, implying he was some sort of fanatic white racialist.  Since this seemed rather odd to me given his actual writings, I hunted around a bit and found a long 1930s discussion of his work in The New Masses by a Jewish Communist who was one of Franz Boas's leading promoters.  The review was extremely friendly and favorable, the main criticism being that Ross remained stubbornly unwilling to accept the scientific validity of Marxism.  These sorts of things lead me to be very cautious in accepting established opinion on controversial matters.

As for the admissions criteria used by elite institutions, I think my views aren't necessarily all that different from yours, regarding all the different problems and trade-offs.  However, I did come up with an interesting and unorthodox alternate approach a few years back, which I'm planning to write up at some point.

Law Student said...

Haha.  Wow, humor isn't really an Asian thing, huh?

LaurentMelchiorTellier said...

Your best post yet.

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