John McCarthy (jmc@SAIL.Stanford.EDU)
04 Feb 1995 20:41:12 GMT

In article <3h0m0m$> (Michael Levy) writes:

In article <JMC.95Feb3114802@SAIL.Stanford.EDU>,
John McCarthy <jmc@cs.Stanford.EDU> wrote:
>Lacking such a definition, scientific progress and good public policy
>depends on making use of such information as is available. The public
>policy I have in mind is to not infer that all differences in outcome
>*must* be consequences of racism.

Alright, but this strong an assertion is not needed to support remedial
programs such as affirmative action. All that is needed is the assertion
that a significant portion of the differences in outcome are caused by
racism past or present. I believe this assertion is supported overwhelmingly
by the evidence. I have read various tirades by you in the past which lead
me to believe that you are opposed to most, perhaps all, forms of affirmative
action. Are you opposed to remedial policies in general? Do you disagree
with the assertion above concerning the causes in differences in outcome?

I am opposed to quotas except as remedies for direct evidence of
discrimination by the organization on which the quota is imposed.
Differential outcome is not to be taken as sufficient evidence.

I am not opposed to remedial policies involving helping individuals
come up to standard. Thus I am not opposed in principle to Head
Start. Some have argued from experience that Head Start is
ineffective. If they are right, Head Start should be dropped, but I
haven't studied the question, so I don't have an opinion.

It seems to me that much of the argument about TBC is motivated by the
following other argument.

TBC don't offer enough evidence to convince *me* that intelligence is
hereditary or even exists.

Therefore, intelligence *must* be taken as nonexistent.

Therefore, any differences in outcome *must* be taken as due to

Therefore, as long as the fraction of blacks and whites in some
activity differs from the population fractions, quotas are justified
to restore the balance and may be *ordered* by the Federal Government
agencies charged with preventing racial discrimination.

John McCarthy, Computer Science Department, Stanford, CA 94305
He who refuses to do arithmetic is doomed to talk nonsense.