Monday, August 23, 2021

Congratulations: You Nearly Made It!

How it started:

That would be with The Great Self-esteem Movement of the 70’s-80s, in which teachers and parents began to pour unconditional praise on children and to shelter them from adverse consequences and criticism. Accordingly, all of the children were above average.

Indeed between the late 60s and 2004, the proportion of first year university students claiming an A average in high school rose from 18% to 48%, despite the fact that SAT scores had actually fallen.


At best the participation trophy era created a generation of narcissistic underachievers. At worst it created a batch of nincompoops.

How it ended:

Incompetent nincompoopery at the highest levels.



Related: As US Schools Prioritize Diversity Over Merit, China Is Becoming the World’s STEM Leader.

It’s bad:

In a 2018 report published by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), China ranked first in mathematical proficiency among 15-year-olds, while the United States was in 25th place. And a recent large-scale study of adults’ cognitive abilities, conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics, found that many Americans lack the basic skills in math and reading required for successful participation in the economy.

Really bad:

The second reason for concern is that the nationwide effort to reduce racial disparities, however well-intentioned, has had the unfortunate effect of weakening the connection between merit and scholastic admission.

Meanwhile in China:

At the university entrance level, China relies on a hierarchical, layered system based on a highly competitive, fairly administered, national exam.

What a concept: let meritocracy rule. So while China develops and nurtures their best we here in the good old US of A – where meritocracy was invented – the wokesters insist on diversity first, competency later; and even then only to the degree our diversity obsessed culture permits.

Sure, accidents will happen. You’ve got to break a few eggs…

FIU bridge collapseFIU bridge collapse: mistakes (engineering) were made

But that’s a small price to pay for equity, eh?

The engineering design error that directly led to the collapse was identified by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) as a miscalculation of resistance to sliding of the connection between the walkway surface, and the truss that held it up.

Gee, that seems like a pretty basic calculation for bridge projects. You might have thought somebody in the project’s chain of command/oversight might have caught it.

The New York Times concluded that "the chief probable cause" was "the design by FIGG Bridge Engineers", and that "every company, institution and agency involved in the project was partly to blame for the bridge collapse."

Yes, we wouldn’t want to point the finger at any one individual or design firm (especially if they are minorities or women), that would mean they could be held accountable; something else we apparently no longer believe in.

“The social-justice rhetoric used to justify these diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs is often completely at odds with the reality…”

Way to go America: you nearly made it!

participation trophy medalsWho could have guessed that the “reward everything they do” approach would backfire? P.S. participation ribbons ‘Made in China’