Yale Professor Makes Midterm Optional Because of Trump’s Victory, Lies About It

Via MR, Yale Economics professor Steven Berry claims that the notion of college kids as “snowflakes” is a media myth. He bases it on his experience teaching one class at one university, but his Microeconomics class is no doubt perfectly representative of his institution and American higher ed in general. His class, he says, is “graded on a strict curve.” MR commenter “Anonymous” replied:

“I’m sure you do. But in Yale itself, the average GPA is estimated to be a 3.6. This isn’t unusual among elite colleges, at Harvard “The median grade in Harvard College is indeed an A-. The most frequently awarded grade in Harvard College is actually a straight A”



In Berry’s telling, he originally scheduled a midterm exam for for November 9, 2016. On election night, it suddenly occurred to him that maybe it wasn’t such a great idea to schedule a midterm for the day after an election.

Economists like clever solutions, and I thought I had one. Every time I teach the class, I offer students in some personal difficulty the following “standard offer.” If they are unable to take the second midterm for personal reasons, I will transfer the weight of that exam entirely onto the upcoming final exam, which also covers the material on the midterm. In light of historic events and the poor timing of the exam, I made a quick decision to make a version of my standard offer to everyone, Trump’s late-night celebrants included. As it turns out, Harvard Professor Greg Mankiw, Republican economist and former adviser to President George W. Bush, made a similar offer to his introductory economics students.

No mention of this Yale Physics professor’s decision to make the midterm exam a “take home exam:”


Look, it’s fine to make fun of me. But my students aren’t snowflakes, they don’t melt at the mere thought of opposing ideas, do they? I looked out at the near-empty classroom. Shouldn’t the students be arriving by now?

The doors burst open and students who had been studying notes in the hallway outside flowed into the room. Almost all the students were there. Their heads bent over the exam, all math and graphs, with little jokes and tricks embedded in the questions. It was hard and most students took the full 75 minutes. No crying, no whining, no excuses. As the students flowed out, a few paused to talk. “Your offer meant so much to me,” one said.

We old folks have plenty to answer for. The next generation is going to have to be tough. Luckily, I was right: my students don’t melt.

How touching, the students were offered an opportunity to get out of an exam, “almost all of them” rejected the opportunity. You see, they were offered “coddling” and rejected it! The problem with the story is that it isn’t true. His true offer was very different from his portrayal in the Washington Post article:

“Almost all” of the students arrived to take the exam because they knew it couldn’t hurt their grade to do so.  It could help some a lot, perhaps that’s the reason Berry got the heartfelt thank-yous. Whether or not they showed up for the exam, the students benefited from his action. They were “coddled.”

Are the students “special snowflakes?” Not the students at Yale. If they made it into Yale, they know how to handle stress. I don’t blame the students at any of these universities. Of course students are going to try to get out of taking exams. Any generation of students would. The problem is professors like Steven Berry who, even if they don’t personally agree with it, appease the SJW agenda. That he lied about what he did shows he’s probably somewhat embarrassed about it. He doesn’t want to be made fun of when he goes to the economics conference and finds himself alone with his fellow White Males. So he chooses the “compromise:” lying. You get a lot of that in an environment where people are effectively prohibited from criticizing an ideology that they do not believe in.

Posted in Education | 1 Comment

The White Gender Gap By State

Mapped is the White gender gap for the states where CNN has exit polls. The measurement I used was the percentage of White females who voted for Trump divided by the percentage of White males who voted for Trump. I created other graphs, for Clinton’s share and using the more common method of subtracting the percentage of male voters who voted Trump/Clinton from the number of female voters who voted Trump/Clinton. The pattern was basically the same regardless.

There’s a weak pattern of a lower gender gap in the South and Southwest, where racial identity among Whites is more salient. The biggest gender gaps are found in the industrial Midwest and the most cucked states like California and New York.

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The Burden of Proof and Automation

A debate at the Soho Forum between Robin Hanson and Bryan Caplan was held on the subject of whether robots will eliminate most of the jobs. Hanson argued for, Caplan argued against. Here is the video:

Starting at minute 18:00, Caplan made an interesting argument: that the burden of proof lies on those who claim the unemployment will occur, not on those who deny it. It makes sense. The burden of proof should be on those who argue that some great change will happen. And so if the claim is that self driving cars will replace human drivers, the burden is on those making this argument. But in most cases, those who argue against automation-caused mass unemployment don’t argue with this part of the argument. They don’t argue that self-driving cars or robots are impractical. The libertarian-types who are making this argument, they tend to be techno-optimists, convinced that technology will always advance so long as the market is ‘free,’ and resistant to the arguments of Mark Steyn and Tyler Cowen that the rate of technological advancement has decreased.* Rather, the argument is that all these “new jobs” will be created. When they give examples of the new jobs, I find them unsatisfying, like the celebrity butcher example. They are jobs of which there will be few and which will require intelligence and/or social skills that most people do not have.

I argue that the burden of proof is on those who believe a large number of new jobs will be created, not those who deny it.

I’ll conclude by quoting John Derbyshire:

The assumption here is that like the buggy-whip makers you hear about from economic geeks, like dirt farmers migrating to factory jobs, like the middle-class engineer of 1960, the cube people of today will go do something else, creating a new middle class from some heretofore-despised category of drudges. But… what? Which category of despised drudges will be the middle class of tomorrow? Do you have any ideas? I don’t. What comes after office work? What are we all going to do? The same thing Bartleby the Scrivener did, perhaps, but collectively and generationally.

What is the next term in the series: farm, factory, office…? There isn`t one.(…)”

*I personally disagree with this argument. Much of it is a matter of opinion, how much do you value air travel rather than the internet? Which is cooler, computer programs or aircraft engines? Do you value effect on society or some other yardstick like ability to navigate space? I think the internet and mobile phones are a pretty big deal, allowing instant communication with anyone in the world and allowing people to bypass regimes of controlled or biased media. When the history of technology in 2500 AD is written, the internet will have a central place. Air travel is convenient, but mostly because it is simply faster than the alternatives, travel by train, car, and ship. The upper classes in the early 20th century enjoyed widespread, comfortable international travel on trains and ocean liners. But there was nothing like Facebook or WordPress in 1950, no matter your wealth.

Posted in Technology | 2 Comments

The Big Stories: Exist Polls in 2016

Polls Here.

The media’s big story is about education, Trump lost College graduates(who Romney won) and won non-college graduates, who Romney lost. The reason is the media is emphasizing this is obvious, it’s a “subtle” way of implying Trump voters are stupid. Are they? Trump still won the higher income brackets while Clinton won the lower income brackets. Clinton has a lot of support among college graduates who didn’t learn much of use there and see it reflected in poor earnings. Trump does well among non-college educated but relatively wealthy small business owners. I should mention that the income data will be affected by age(Trump supporters are older) and location(Clinton supporters are more likely to live in areas of high cost of living.)

Lion mentioned Trump’s relatively good performance among minorities. For Black people, Trump did perform better than Romney or McCain, but they were both running against a Black president. He did worse among Blacks in 2016(8% of the vote) than Bush did in 2004(11% of the vote) or in 2000.(9% of the vote) Blacks may have found things to like about him, but in this election, it seems that blood is thicker than water. For Hispanics and Asians, he did slightly better, especially when you account for the number of people who voted for third parties. Still, the small increase could just be a random statistical variance rather than a trend. The lesson here is that a nationalist platform can appeal as well to Hispanics and Asians as a conservative platform can. We should definitely use the fact that Trump got more votes from minorities than Romney in our propaganda against the cuckservatives.

The other big story here is the gender/marriage gap. The gender gap itself wasn’t all that large, the difference between the percentage of men and women who voted for the Republican candidate was 8 points in 2012 and it’s 9 points now. Historically, the marriage gap has been larger than the gender gap, such that Republicans always won married women, Democrats always won single men. Not this year. In 2012, Romney won married women by 7 points and lost single men by 13 points. Now, Trump lost married women by 3 points and lost single men by just 1 point. Very important shift, assuming it’s real and not just a statistical fluke.

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Will the Libertarians Learn This Time?

The Libertarians have long claimed that if only they had media access and status as a major party, they’d be able to win. They are fans of using a few questions on polls to claim that everyone who scores as “socially liberal and fiscally conservative” is “libertarian.” Most of these people would be considered “statists” if they ever found their way into Reason.com’s comment section. Nevertheless, there is some truth to those claims, media exposure and established party status does confer a major advantage. Still, it’s not sufficient, as Gary Johnson seemed to think in his infamous gaffe:

For an example of this, see Utah. For awhile, Johnson was approaching 15% there, and some libertarians actually thought he had a chance. Quite ironic, as it was about the last place the “cosmopolitan” libertarians who currently dominate the movement would have thought would be their stronghold.(“Cosmopolitan” libertarians are big fans of “millennials,” irreligion, and non-Whites.) In response to cuckservative Evan McMullin’s candidacy, Libertarian Party Chair Nicholas Sarwark said he is:

“an unremarkable Capitol Hill staffer with no purpose other than to split the Gary Johnson vote in the mountain West and assist in electing the Democrat for President.”

HE’S TAKING JOHNSON’S VOTES! But despite being an “unremarkable Capitol Hill staffer” with no party backing him up, no position in most national polls, a fraction of the LP’s funding, and a fraction of the media coverage that was given to Johnson and the LP, McMullin has surged in Utah, tearing into Johnson’s vote share:

Their problem is simple, their ideology just isn’t popular, not in Utah and not in the rest of the country. Will they learn this time? Almost certainly not.

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The Soviet Prosperity Argument

You often hear, from libertarian types and others, that America has never been richer, never been safer, never has it had so little poverty. Nothing to worry about, they say, all the doomer-type rhetoric from the far-Left and the far-Right is nonsensical.

Someone in the Soviet Union in 1970 could have made a similar argument. The peasants and workers have never been better off! And it is true, the Soviet people were better off than they were in 1917 by average incomes, literacy rates, ect. But it misses the point, as the Soviet Union’s economy of 1970 was nowhere near the level of it’s potential. Anatoly Karlin has written about this.

Americans are richer than ever before. We live longer than ever before. We’re less likely to die in car accidents. Our probability of being murdered is about equal to it was in the 1950s. But is our current situation the best it could be? Could America have gone in a different direction in the 1950s and wound up in a much better place? With all the advances in police procedure, better communication and record keeping, DNA evidence, mass surveillance, and with advances in medicine meaning people who get shot are much more likely to survive, shouldn’t the murder rate be a lot lower than it was in the 1950s?

I do think that some in the alt-Right are being too pessimistic about the future of America. They say that a White minority America will inevitably be part of the “third world.” A nation that is 48% White and 9% East Asian won’t be part of the third world. There will still be many intelligent, creative people to move its economy forward. Technology will alleviate some of the problems created by demographic change and cultural decline. Laziness? Robots will pick up the slack. Crime? Mass surveillance will make catching criminals easier. Corruption? Computers will make spotting it easier. STDs? Medicine will improve. No, America won’t be part of third world. But it will be a second-rate country. It will not have lived up to the potential it had in 1955, when it had virtually every advantage a country could ask for.

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If Trump Loses, Don’t Blame NeverTrumpers for Sitting It Out

If Kasich, Bush, or another of the cuckervatives runs, it may be prudent to, in the course of convincing people to vote against them, blame them for Hillary Clinton’s presidency. Point out how both of them got on that stage, made a promise to support the nominee, and refused to keep it.

But we shouldn’t default to that argument because:

  1. It (probably) isn’t true.
  2. It’s what the NeverTrumpers want in that they want to believe that there’s a large group of ‘Republican’, ‘conservative’ voters who agree with them, large enough to sway an election.

It appears that Republicans rallied behind Trump just as they did for candidates past. Outside of Utah, there is no large group of ordinary people who identify as Republicans and who will vote against Trump. If he loses, it will be because of independent voters. Rather than making the point that treasonous #NeverTrump cuckservatives cost Trump the election, we should point out that the vast majority of Republicans did vote for Trump, and the views of the politicians, talking heads, and intellectuals of #NeverTrump are servery misaligned with the conservative Republicans they claim to speak for. This is the argument that NeverTrumpers fear most.

Posted in Neoconservatism, Republican Party, Uncategorized | Leave a comment