Re: US Science Education Sucks

From: Randy Smith (
Date: Sat Aug 25 2001 - 20:36:58 MDT

>From: "Olga Bourlin" <>
>To: <>
>Subject: Re: US Science Education Sucks
>Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2001 19:03:16 -0700
>From: "Greg Burch" <>
> > Olga, relax. "Mexican" is the word in English for people from Mexico.
> > so happens that in LA and Houston and, I guess from Brian's post,
> > the most numerous population of recent immigrants who are just starting
> > the socio-economic ladder are from Mexico.
>I understand about the word "Mexican" - there's nothing wrong with that
>per se
>any more than using the word "Portuguese" or "Thai" or "French," but I was
>reacting to the WAY it was used ... and not so much in Brian Atkin's case
>I had some questions, to which Brian kindly replied just before he plonked
>me). If you will recall, in tandem I pasted in something from Natasha's
>recent post: "At first, only those with money or connections had them.
>Today, in downtown Los Angeles, there are more Mexicans using cell phones
>than executives."
>What was the implication in that sentence? That once upon a time when cell
>phones were expensive they had a certain cachet as only rich hoity-toity
>CEOs could get their hands on them; but now these formerly exclusive handy
>little gadgets have become so cheap and plentiful that "Mexicans" have them
>(Mexicans in this case standing for a catch-all word meaning what? -- poor
>people? riff-raff? the hoi-polloi? illegal aliens?).
>I was wondering how that would read if the sentence were altered slightly,
>i.e.: "At first, only those with money or connections had them. Today, in
>downtown Los Angeles, there are more Asians using cell phones than
>executives"; or "... there are more blacks using cell phones than
>executives"; or "there are more Jews using cell phones than executives."
>If you were Asian, black or Jewish - how would you react to a sentence like
>that? Again, what is the implication here (using what I wrote in this
>paragraph as an example): That there are no Jewish executives? That
>couldn't afford cell phones until cell phones came down in price (implying
>there are no rich Asians)? That there are no professional black people?
>I had the same question when I read the sentence about "Mexicans" in
>Natasha's post. I lived in San Diego for 8 years, and got to know a number
>of Mexican-Americans who were lawyers, teachers, executives, and
>Even though this was 20 years ago (when I lived in San Diego) I could just
>imagine their reaction if they'd read Natasha's sentence about "Mexicans":
>"How ignorant."
>Maybe Natasha meant "poor people." Maybe she meant "illegal aliens" or
>"immigrants." I'm not sure what Natasha meant, but I don't think she
>meant to say "Mexicans." Not all Mexicans are poor, for one thing, and
>there ARE Mexican executives. So it seems prudent not to characterize
>"Mexicans" in an offset example to "executives," any more than
>characterizing Jews, blacks, or Asians in the same way.
> > > > Actually where I live, housing construction continues to boom to the
> > > > point where if we didn't have all those Mexicans moving here we'd be
> > > > in a real shortage of labor.
> > Brian's point about having lots of inexpensive labor supplied by a huge
>pool > of immigrants from El Sud in the US raises an important point:
>Japan, > we don't have the same incentives to roboticize a lot of
>entry-level jobs.
>Greg, this is a good point. The only icky feeling I got from Brian Atkin's
>post is in the wording he used regarding "all those Mexicans." These are
>people - not just some amorphous source of "cheap labor." It seems to me
>that if anyone can be kind, appreciative and compassionate about a group of
>laborers, it is people with seemingly every privilege in the world going
>them - leisure time, money, brains and power.
>What you said about roboticizing entry-level jobs makes sense to me. But
>while we are still using people to do our dangerous, exhausting,
>"low status" types of jobs, can we show some compassion and humanity? Can
>we treat people who are willing to do our hard labor with respect as our
>fellow human beings, and not refer to them dismissively as "all those [fill
>in appropriate nationality blank]."
>I don't know if Extroprians or the Singularity Institute has a SIG which
>addresses social concerns and damage control in the here and now (before
>Singularity). If not, I would suggest starting one. Brian Atkins has
>already made it known that he doesn't "have time for PC crap. Why not take
>it somewhere else and waste their time with it?" (I understand, he is a
>busy guy.)
>Let me end by saying - and I don't mean to be churlish, but -- I believe
>"somewhere else" is already here.

Actually, the immigration of all those mexican peasants does indeed matter
to us all, especially those of us who are planning to be frozen if old age
aint cured pretty soon. The substantial MAJORITY of immigrants, mexicans or
otherwise, are "peasants." From my observations, peasants don't run much of
a country. Mainly, they live in kleptocracies. I don't want the USA to be a
kleptocracy. I doubt cryonics would be legal for the common man in the USA
were uneducated peasants to abound in the USA.

Another thing, no one really invited them, except those that make money from
them, and that is really the minority in the USA. YOu say my own ancestors
were immigrants, too? That is a non sequitir: I may own a house, and at some
point in the past, I did not own that house. Does that make it OK for
someone else to move in without my permission?

If you are going to have immigrants, at least get educated ones. And then,
in that case, you have serious concerns about them competing with current
citizens for jobs. We own this country, we get to voice our own opinions
freely, and we get to make the rules. The kinds of countries where common
men do not get to make the rules and voice opinions....that is the kind of
country from whence the peasants came. Let them stay in their beds, etc...

Another thing, most of the mexican immigrants are indians, and they are the
uneducated peasants who get the grunt work that would be going to US
citizens otherwise. I am part indian, so therefore by the current calculus
of racial political correctness, I get to criticise them.

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