"racial gamification"

Nearly every college admissions tutoring job I took over the next few years would come with a version of the same behest. The Chinese and Korean kids wanted to know how to make their application materials seem less Chinese or Korean. The rich white kids wanted to know ways to seem less rich and less white. The Black kids wanted to make sure they came across as Black enough. Ditto for the Latino and Middle Eastern kids.

Seemingly everyone I interacted with as a tutor — white or brown, rich or poor, student or parent — believed that getting into an elite college required what I came to call racial gamification. For these students, the college admissions process had been reduced to performance art, in which they were tasked with either minimizing or maximizing their identity in exchange for the reward of a proverbial thick envelope from their dream school.



More power to all of them.

I mingle with a lot of artists. The vast majority of them stay on the lowest level of art. Just producing an image.

I am a designer. The difference, I create for an audience. Just hearing that is beautiful or whatever is not the goal.

I am 60 years old. My collectors are millennials. I can not produce the same art and get them. I needed to move forward to treat the high end millennial collector’s aesthetics.

The point

Most artists feel that is beneath them. Means to the audience they have next to meaningless art.

Anyone can draw or paint. Might be bad but anyone can do it. Few people will figure out the aesthetics to target an audience.

For 18 year olds to figure out the reading audience is an excellent start to college admissions.

Are they on target? No the universities are less interested in their backgrounds than imaged. As the colleges look at their writings the goal is different. The universities want to see their analytic abilities. Not rounded out abilities but unique minds. This can be a shining ability to write or thoughts that are informed and novel.

Location is the largest factor to getting into any school. The closer to the school the more likely to get a seat. Until you get to the seats allocated for foreign students who pay full freight.

This is just my controversial opinion but I think it encapsulates the convergence of both the political Right and Left to engage in racism, which in more acceptable terms is called “Identity Politics”.

The only true nonracists (IMO) in America are the declining number of moderates who believe race and ethnicity should be deemphasized. These are labels that should be seen as an accessory to rather than defining a person’s identity.

America should mean embracing the principle of equality rather than discrimination. This means seeing people as people rather than labels.


Any data on moderates who believe that?

We do not know that. It is only an assumption.

Doing the work without your guessing moderates do approve of affirmative action and similar policies in college admissions.

The big reason I say that there are almost no moderates in the GOP but the Democrats and GOP are weighted evenly for this. The GOP as led by Trump is just about anything but moderate.

I am only questioning that moderates are neutral. That is not true.

Further neutral on this issue is not seen as a virtue by most Americans or by the historical reference we should accurately use.

In other words, you cooked the books to get the result you want. Here is another poll that shows little support for considering race/ethnicity in college enrollments even among the groups most likely to benefit. In this poll, moderates of both parties are lumped together.

A majority in each of the racial groups polled were against taking ethnicity or race into consideration, as well as 69% of moderates and 70% of independents.

These results are further supported by the Brookings Institute that noted relatively little response to the SC decision against race-based affirmative action. A surprisingly muted reaction to the Supreme Court’s decision on affirmative action | Brookings

Liberals favor race/ethnicity consideration because they focus on historical and institutional discrimination of certain groups. Conservatives do not want consideration of race/ethnicity because they believe it discriminates against other groups like whites and Asians. Moderate can see the legitimacy of both arguments and have mixed feelings on the issue, liking it less than liberals but more than conservatives.

What is stunning to me is the broad support for using standardized test scores. All groups favor this by pretty large majorities. There seems to be strong support for a college enrollment system based on merit.


Interesting tables. Of course, there is the the fact of bias in college admissions. Would a student body composed of 99% white kids, reflect merit, or a prima facie case of racial bias? Since the (L&Ses) in Michigan outlawed affirmative action in college admissions, the student bodies of the state’s universities have skewed more white.

But there is more that race and gender being considered, especially at the more highly regarded universities. I have commented before on the U of M admissions officer’s evaluation of Gerry Ford “good looking”, “family background none too good”.

U of M is the same today. The university styles itself as the producer of “leaders”, so weighs extra-curricular activities. Were you class president? Were you captain of the debate team? Were you active in civic organizations? Some kids don’t have time for that sort of thing, because they have a job after school. Some kids don’t have any mobility: they have to catch a bus right after school, and they are stuck at home until the bus picks them up for the next school day. I wonder how many kids, who have the grades, have been rejected, because they could not get their ticket punched by the local Rotary Club.


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It depends. Does the current racial composition of the NBA or NHL indicate racial bias or do they simply reflect the cultural differences between ethnic groups in their choice of athletic activities?

Should the US Olympic team change its rules to increase the number of under-represented Asians on its sprint squad? Or should the Asian dominated US math olympiad team take into account ethnicity when choosing its members?

Any deliberate attempt to exclude a race/ethnicity should of course be condemned. But there are many times when an ethnicity-blind merit-based system does not result in representative diversity for reasons that have nothing to do with discrimination. At what point does one compromise merit for diversity? The answer would seem to be “never” if one takes MLK’s famous quote literally "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character .


Excellent! Yes. Thomas Sowell, not my fav economist but one of my fav historians and social observers has various iterations of this on Youtube. Nowhere in any society in any human endeavor is everyone evenly distributed in all sectors. People have different, interests, talents and proclivities. We know this is true of individuals and there is no evidence that it cannot or does not exist between groups.

Not enough Asians in the heavyweight division of boxing. And it’s prima facia, let’'s stop lying to ourselves about it, using any statistical regime you want, there simply are not enough White guys in the NBA. The statistics tell the whole story. The end… Or is it…? (as they used to intone at the end of some 1950’s sci-fi B pics.)

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I consider the possibility that merit outweighs race in college athletics, because, money. Winning is more important.

On the other hand, I read an editorial recently, putting the blame for the US military’s recruiting shortfall on the military’s DEI program. The editorial claimed that the numbers of African American and Hispanic recruits have held steady, but the number of white recruits has declined, because the white recruiting base is southern and rural, and they are offended by the DEI program. Could not see a more clear demonstration of racism, on the part if either the author of the editorial, or white recruits, than that.



YouGov is known for suppressing data favoring Labor. Manipulating the data.

It is a right-wing taboid source for polls.

I will give you people who do not want to give up one plug nickel. But for their friends, you can have it all.

The advice I always give to Asian-Americans is to change your name in 8th grade to something generic American (“John Smith”). Then your high school records and college admission documents will have a generic American name, but still have the good grades and test scores you are likely to have. Then you enter college as “John Smith” and after your first year, you can change your name back to what it was originally (Chinese name, Korean name, etc).

If you admit solely on merit, this could never happen. A schools would admit SAT 1500-1600, B schools would admit 1350-1500, and C schools would admit 1100-1350, community colleges would take the rest. In the end, A schools would have Asian-Americans over-represented. But merit is merit, whether you like the results or not. In an ideal system, the colleges would never know the applicants name or address, and certainly not their ethnicity or gender. Each applicant would be assigned a number, and their grades/test scores attached to that number, and all decisions can be made solely on merit. I would eliminate the very concept of “legacy”, which is anti-merit. And I would remove any connection between college sports and colleges themselves. No admissions based on athletic skill, you admit based on merit, and then AFTERWARD you maybe recruit for teams from your existing student body.

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Everyone is going after the African American students for their own families to do well.

Is it harder for Asians to get into top colleges?

Asian American students were 28% less likely to get into selective U.S. colleges than white Americans with similar test scores, grade-point averages and extracurricular activities, a new working paper suggests.Aug 13, 2023

Blame it on the blacks because the whites are innocent. Sarcasm. Might help the Asians if they toe the line.

The irony is the Asian families miss the mark. This means more white kids will get in at their expense. It is not lost on the white community.


Here is another tidbit: Canada is moving to restrict the number of international college students admitted. Supposedly, the foreign students are to blame for rising apartment rents. But the universities have been expanding to meet the increased demand. The local economies benefit from the foreign students, both as customers, and employees.

Additionally, Canada will be reducing the number of work permits allocated to international students after they graduate.


No point in giving away the store.

There is such a thing as letting people buy the store when it was never for sale.