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About Viking

  • Birthday 11/26/1985

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  1. Well, any example I do come up with will by definition be hypothetical. If you in addition disallow everything else being pretty much equal in these examples (this seems implied by the objections you raise), then I think it would be impossible to come up with an example that would work. I'd love to hear the example you came up with, though.
  2. Surely it is possible for a rational person to make a mistake? If the person in question went about the nanny hiring process irrationally, it was all the result of the mistake of not accurately estimating the market rate for nannies. I don't think making one wrong guess automatically means that a person is living an irrational life. sN, as for your concern over the lack of information on the apps, I suppose that is fair, so let me fix that. Instead of 100 apps, say you got 1000 apps, and the applications contain enough information to determine if a candidate is appropriate or not. Now let us say that instead of only having time to interview 10 guys, you only have enough time to read 100 apps. The pictures do not take any significant time to view, and lets say the race ratio is the same. Now, which applications do you read first? While it is true that the blacks in this particular district may not represent the average blacks, the racial statistics is the best info the nanny-searcher has on them. Also, since reading 100 apps is plenty to find a suitable candidate, why should the nanny-searcher care about being equal-opportunity? I'm a bit busy today and the next few days, so I'll have to leave it at that for now. I will provide more detailed responses later this week.
  3. Well, what I can I say, I mean the true one. I'm not claiming every white guy is smarter than every black guy, if that is what you mean. From reading the rest of your post (and preceding ones), it seems as if you are basically denying the possibility of a situation that is important, yet requires fast decision making. For an example, you additionally require that the hypothetical subject be in search of IQ specifically. In my opinion, it is a little absurd to be on the search for IQ specifically, so any example would end up being a little absurd as well. I mean, forgetting race and probabilities, when is one looking for IQ specifically in everyday life period? If you can think of an example, take that, and add a nasty time constraint, and you have your example. But anyway, the difficulty of finding an example for IQ in particular is not an argument against the morality of using racial statistics in general, it is an argument against the likelihood that people are looking for IQ in the first place. If you had asked for an example of where one is actually looking for that quality in real life by itself, then giving an example is much easier. Take behavior, for instance. Lets say you are looking for a nanny for your son, and you want it to be a male. Further, let us say you post an ad, but you overestimate the market rate for a male nanny, so you have 100 applications. Ideally, you would post another ad, lowering the wage offered. But let us say that is not practical, you don't have time, or it costs too much. All the apps come with face shots of the would-be nanny, so you know their race, but that and their name is all you know. Lets say you know of the prison statistic I provided earlier, and various other negative behavior that are more prevalent among blacks. Now, you only have time to do 10 interviews. If there are 70 white people, and 30 blacks, who do you interview first? Is this not a case where it is proper to use race, since that is pretty much all you have? Now of course, you could argue that you should have asked for this and that information in the apps, and while that may be true, this is what you have asked for, as you only expected a handful of apps, and now you are in a hurry.
  4. While it is true that there is great IQ variability within each race, that doesn't change the fact that there is a ~15 point spread between blacks and whites, which is pretty significant. And yes, of course, if it is a crucial decision, by all means get more information if you have the luxury of time. If you do not have the luxury of time however, which is exactly what I'm talking about (a condition you have repeatedly ignored), then it is proper to use information that may not be true, but will be true more often than it is not (assuming it is relevant). It holds true for other things like Onar has mentioned, and it doesn't automatically become a bad idea when it comes to race. Take his example of illiteracy for example. Is it immoral to take this statistic into account because it is not true 100% of the time? No, it is enough that it is true much of the time. And so it is with racial statistics. David, as for your concern, Onar has said what I would have said, and more.
  5. That is misleading. You will be 100% right based on the context of your knowledge at the time. The problem is the context of your knowledge at the time of the decision may not be very extensive about the person in question. That is where using information that will be right more often than it is not is in your best interests.
  6. I don't see how whether it was a misapplication of knowledge or not can be the determined from the information you provided. If you are faced with Thomas Sowell and Bob from the local trailer park, then yes it would be irrational. But if you are faced with two guys who just seem like average guys from their respective races to you, then there is nothing wrong with making an educated guess. That there is an established correlation between race and IQ is not in dispute. There are plenty of tests that show this trend, and no evidence to the contrary. That aside, I agree that if you have the luxury of time and can get to know the person, then it will be of little use. If you are in a rush, though, some information that may not be true, but will be true more often than it is not - is better than little to no information at all.
  7. This is the best argument for living on principle that I have seen in this thread, and it has yet to be refuted. Does anyone else want to try?
  8. Your other claims rest on this statement, so I will address it first. If you take into account statistics, will you not by definition be right a higher percentage of the time than if you ignore them? If so, it is hard to see how this would not make you better off.
  9. To be fair, he couldn't say that, since taxation is always a negative-sum game (it creates deadweight loss), not a zero-sum game, with 1 extremely rare exception.
  10. Then how do you explain the differences that cannot be explained by nurture that have been mentioned? Also, who is promoting this as a force for change? Perhaps at life in general, but not at one particular activity. There are certainly activities in which genetics matter greatly. Consider a person who is born extremely ugly, for example: it is very unlikely that he will have great success in modeling. If he is also born with a really low IQ, the only reason why I would agree that it would be irrational of him to blame genetics for his lack of success is not that it is false, but that such resignation will not help him.
  11. Right, so it follows that by the standard definition, racism is not necessarily bad. I'm not sure why it would be unjust. But even if it was, should one care if taking this information into account will lead to better decisions, on average? It seems as if you have some egalitarian view that one owes everyone an equal chance regardless of your judgement, but this assertion has never been proven. Also, doesn't it follow from this statement that racial profiling is immoral? If not, please explain.
  12. I disagree, I think facts can be racist. Immorality/irrationality is not inherent to the definition of racism. I draw support for this from the predominant attitude of extreme "political correctness" today. You seem to have a different definition of racism than most people. Where I live now, and where I bodde i Norge, most people thought even conducting a study comparing the races is racist, so holding the view that you and I have would certainly qualify as racist by most peoples standards. (Of course, this is based on my experience, and there may be areas where this is not true, but certainly not in coastal America or Norway.)
  13. I'm in favor of Capitalism, so in my view this shouldn't have any implications for the role of government. I think the government should protect individual rights no matter what. I would agree with you that if one thinks that it is moral for the government to control private behavior or regulate the economy, acknowledging these differences between the races could have some unfortunate implications. I think basically the only implication this has is how one preliminarily assesses other people. It won't always provide benefit, in fact, sometimes it may hurt you (lost opportunities), but on average, having and using this information will help you more than it will hurt you. I will look into the essay you mentioned, but I'm slightly skeptical of its value, because as I mentioned, I think the definition is inappropriate.
  14. I completely agree with Inspector and Moebius on this topic, they have made some great points. Another telling sign that the general view on tipping is irrational is that it is mostly calculated as a percentage of the price of the food. What is the reasoning behind this? Is it harder to transport fillet mignon to my table than a $1 burger? Or is it harder to get the chef to hold the mayo from more expensive food? Of course, on more expensive food there may be more things that one could potentially "hold", but to say that the difficulty that arises from this directly matches the price of the food is ridiculous. Because of this inconsistency, the waiters are not being paid according to the actual value of the food transportation, order taking service, etc, but rather, according to the price of food, which is related to the skills of the chef, not the said waiter service.
  15. If you look at the link you provided, though, the overall theme is "the irrational belief that ___", so I don't think that fits. Moreover, if someone stood up somewhere in public today, and I said "white people are smarter than black people, on average", what do you think they would call him? If you say something other than racist, you are giving people too much credit, I think. When most people think of racist, they don't differentiate between rational and irrational reasoning behind it, they simply determine if you preliminarily asses a person based on their race or not. This has been my experience, at least.
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