Thomas Sowell for this generation from the video, except this guy gets destroyed. Thanks for standing up and talking about these types of things Mr. Caplan. Interesting and challenging topics being hysterical or naive.

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Separate question Bryan - what do you think are Roland’s prospects moving forward? What are his best bets for continuing to produce valuable research?

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I don't think fixing the law (by exempting jokes, which is a bad idea in itself) is going to fix this. Assuming this video is correct, it's clear that the decision was made in spite of what the rules said.

Discrimination laws are very good things, and should not be weakened because of a weird edge case where they were used as weak justification to punish a contrarian harvard professor by a few threatened oligarchs.

Dealing with disputes near the ends of legal coverage will always require human judgement , hence why we appoint highly trained people (maybe call them judges) and incentivise them to be unbiased and transparent as possible. This is just what happens when you give the wrong people power with no accountability.

Edit: They want us to blame the law (instead of them)

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We don't need an exception from discrimination law just for jokes, but all speech.

So my answer to your challenge: "Name any better way to weaken discrimination law and restore free speech with a prayer of political victory":

Make a 1st Amendment challenge against hostile workplace environment law.

A libertarian or conservative organization or rich person should found a company, not have any harassment policy, and when it gets sued for harassment, make a 1st Amendment challenge. Or perhaps offer to pay the legal costs (and in case of a loss, the damages) of any company that makes a 1st Amendment challenge, and litigates it to the SCOTUS. (Preferably during a conservative SCOTUS majority.)

Laws against verbal harassment don't fall under any of the accepted exceptions to the 1st Amendment. And I'm unaware of any case where the SCOTUS upheld harassment law against a 1st Amendment challenge. The problem is that the employees don't have standing to make a constitutional challenge (since a private employer clearly has the right to fire its employees for speech, even if it can't constitutionally be obligated to do so), and employers don't bother to stand up for their employees' constitutional rights.

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I am increasingly pessimistic about the state of the university system. I would like to think it can be repaired and corrected, but I am afraid it needs to be ended and totally replaced. Personal destruction and back stabbing through anonymous and unanswerable administrative rulings seems to have the way to settle intellectual disagreements, not to mention competition for funding and positions. Not even credentialism passes for a defense, it seems.

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I'm not sure if my comment will positively or negatively reinforce yours but there are several left-of-center academics speaking-out against the illiberal zeitgeist on college and university campuses. So, maybe there is reason to hope; or maybe the outspokenness means that they too recognize the system cannot be salvaged from within.

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I think at this moment it might be strategic for Roland Fryer to get some *visibility* in public. Currently his Wikipedia page barely mentions his ideas, and he didn't write any book yet. He doesn't have a YouTube channel (or at least I couldn't find one). So if the university cancels him, he becomes completely invisible.

He collaborated with an author of Freakonomics, so perhaps he could take some advice on writing books. In one of the video interviews (sorry, forgot which one, so no link) he mentions that he found a way to make his lectures more interesting for students, by focusing on black geniuses first, and only afterwards providing some boring statistics.

So, step one, do the lectures the most interesting way, record them, put them on YouTube. If the bosses don't let him do the lectures at university, simply do them somewhere else; it may be even easier, don't need to ask permission for recording. Now he has some interesting material that his fans can share on social networks. Step two, turn the lectures into a book. (Include the references to published research; this may generate some extra citations.) Hire someone to help write the book, or maybe offer co-authorship to a student.

Not sure how much this would help in the battles that actually matter, but seems like a low-hanging fruit. And I suppose he cares about spreading the ideas even if it wouldn't help his academic career, and the ideas are easier to spread when they are packaged in an easy-to-spread format. (Also, writing the book would make it easier to quote the findings in Wikipedia.)

For me the most interesting part of his research is which factors contribute to black students' performance at schools. Couldn't find a written summary anywhere, so I am posting it here: he says that 50% of variance among schools can be explained by the following 5 things, that are common sense in hindsight: (1) higher quality teachers, how you select, retain, develop, and possibly fire them; (2) spending more time at school, especially if you are behind; (3) small tutoring groups; (4) use data to drive instruction; (5) culture of high expectations. On the contrary, the thing that is *not* predictive for success is expenditure per pupil.

About his research on police racism, here is a TEDx-like video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CX-O7GVt8YA

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Here is a similar article i wrote 6 months ago, "The Lynching of Roland Fryer"


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Certainly had an effect on his scholarly output. This is from his presumably up-to-date

Harvard Faculty online page:

Publications by Year

Working Papers (6)

Forthcoming (8)

2017 1

2016 1

2015 3

2014 3

2013 7

2012 4

2011 5

2010 5

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Peter Wood’s original article alluded to the 2 angles taken by the woke establishment in these types of takedowns - race, and gender. What do you think would have happened if Roland was a black woman?

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The potential woke weapons against black women are transphobia and islamophobia.

Ask her publicly how she feels about the situation of women in islamic countries, things like mandatory hijab or genital mutilation... or whether she thinks that some hypothetical group containing 50% cis men and 50% trans women is sufficiently gender balanced.

Record the response, and find the sentence that sounds best when tweeted out of context. Tweet it, and then publish the responses of students that no longer feel safe at a university that employs her. Whenever she comments on this, she just provides you more ammunition.

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