Monday, July 16, 2007

Compassionate Bias

Charles Murray has a new article up.

Essentially he argues for the elimination of the SAT because the same information can be extracted from other sources.

He gives plenty of positive reasons - the death of the coaching industry for one.

But more importantly one should concentrate on the *REAL* reason he wants it gone. The ranking of people, even within the cognitive elite.

Removing this should have quite a few social effects. Compassionate social effects. Simply put, someone who isnt high up on the cognitive scale will not have to consider himself dumber than someone who is. The boundaries, even among the smart, get fuzzy.

Ive vacillated on the issue on Steve's Website. There really is no way to answer the question.

Presupposed is this is a good thing. But really, is it?

Lets take a look at it from the new more compassionate viewpoint. Who is the new underdog? People still judge other people - by attractiveness, wealth, age etc.
So take a poor guy who is really smart. Now hes considered, as just poor. Is that better? At least before he could say "you may be richer, but Im smarter" at least to himself. Just because psychic comfort isnt measured - doesnt mean it isnt there.

Freedom equals Freedom, NOT Freedom + Compassion.

So how judge the death of a SAT as a good thing? Compassionate Bias, thats how. Its an instinct.

Though simply because it is an instinct, it does not mean we have an alternative to it. But it does mean we are limited in a very very basic way.


No comments: