Conservative fully tenured professors don’t exist.

That’s a statement of statistical fact, though not technical fact.  Technically there’s a few.  But given that there’s not even 300k tenured academics out of nearly 2 million “post-secondary teachers”, and given that conservative ones are not much above 5% nationwide (tenured or not), in a very real sense they don’t exist.   A few thousand professors is negligible.  At a very generous 10% of tenured academics, conservatives would represent perhaps 1/50 academics total, and the numbers are worse than that, increasingly close to 1/100 academics total.

But just like with liberals, they wield massive influence on conservative thought despite being almost, in a way, imaginary and fictional.



Are half of all college-educated American women infertile?

A third of U.S. adults say they have used fertility treatments or know someone who has

The numbers are, of course, higher still for the college-educated and 75k+.

“About four-in-ten (43%) of those with a bachelor’s degree have had some exposure to fertility treatment – either through their own experience or that of someone they know – and the share rises to 56% among those with a postgraduate degree. About half (48%) of people with family incomes of $75,000 or more also have been exposed to fertility treatment.”

This is kind of scary because it suggests that almost all fertility boost that isn’t from immigrants moving and having an initial baby boom is from artificial hormone cocktails.  Or, alternatively, that vast numbers of women are subfertile or infertile.  The link only covers IVF specifically, but it does note that the actual survey didn’t specify, and there’s a long list of non-IVF hormone cocktails out there.

Teaching to the Test kinda works, Calculus edition

So one of the things I’ve been looking into for kid-education-related reasons is the prevalence of calculus at the high school level and whether it’s working out in terms of college prep. What I found was an interesting and rather dispiriting scenario in which teaching to the AP Calculus tests has become a standard and as a result calculus at the high school level’s relationship to mathematics preparation at the college level changed from the 1990s to the 2000s.

Power series are big in Japan.

In the 1990s, much of high school calculus was neither tailored to the AP curriculum nor necessarily the AP curriculum. Understandably, this meant that high school calculus varied wildly in quality across the nation in both public and private schools. The upshot was that through the 1990s, geometry, trigonometry and algebra grades in high school were more predictive of passing college calculus than high school calculus because it was more likely across schools that a well-prepared student had gotten a basic and relatively rigorous standard of pre-calculus preparation.

These aren’t just for dummies, they’re pretty important if you want to get anywhere useful in the wide green land of calculus.

Of course, the natural response of the new waves of college educated striver parents was to simply make sure that their kids not only took calculus in high school, but that they took the exact exam-based calculus that was used to grant course credit at the college level. Now high school calculus grades are plenty predictive of being able to do all right in college math classes, but the exam scores are far more so. That is, teaching to the test becoming the widely adopted standard for calculus at the high school level now means that doing well at spitting out exam answers demonstrates a strong ability to do so in similarly-structured college classes, and they frequently are.


I’m relaxed about this particular form of grade grubbing and memorization-as-mathematics because you can’t reason with people who will just keep doubling down in a rather pointless arms race. And college-graduate parents have done just that. The new college-ready ratchet is teaching calculus in middle school. You’re so surprised it’s happening in DC area schools. No, really, you are. It’s less than 1% of all students taking calculus pre-college now, but it’s quite plausible the number grows to somewhere around one in ten students over the next five or six years. There’s no reason to stop, since calculus has in many respects been stripped down to exam-friendly format even at the college level and if a 15 year old can memorize enough problem structures and formulas, it’s not hard to see parents making a 13 year old do the same for that extra edge, what with it already happening.

Coming to a SuperZip near you any day now.

“You’re just saying that because your kids can’t do it.”  Nope, my kids are pretty likely  on the end of the bell curve that has a fifth grader being able to do the necessary trigonometry to understand calculus intuitively.  The difference between me and married parents with five degrees between them whose kids can actually understand advanced math pre-pubescently is that I don’t think standardizing the system so that it’s considered reasonable for the generic student to start memorizing algebra problem forms at age 8 so they can plug and play calculus by age 11 is worthwhile or a good use of resources.

There is no good end game here, just an eventual reset towards sanity, but probably only after nervous breakdowns of elementary schoolers have unfortunately become standardized.

Sending fiction to the back burner (writing update)

As I’ve posted, I hoped to get a little bit of fiction published this year and start working under a pen name more regularly.  But alternatives exclude and to get some nonfiction done that I think is ultimately more important to do over the next five years, I’m just setting the idea of submitting stories aside.

I’d like to make (more) money writing fiction and see how high the tally can go, but I don’t have 72 hours a day and something nonessential has to be put aside, very hopefully temporarily.

So, on to nonfiction, which is harder, takes longer and which I can’t really post online sooner than next year unless things go super awesome for me this year.  Here’s hoping.

One in seven married couples made 200k/yr or more in 2017

That is courtesy of the American Community Survey’s 1 year estimate for that year.

One in nine make 150-199k per year.

Put it together and we now have 1/4 of married parents with $150,000 or more annual household income.

The largest single income group remains $100-149,999 per year, with now over 5 million households but still about 23% of the total.

Put 25 and 23 together and you get 48% of married parents make 100k a year or more as a household in 2017. Remember, in 2006 48% made 75k/yr or more (in current dollars).

Now barely 7 million households bring in 50-99k per year (still split about 50/50 from 50-74k and 75k-99k), which is barely 1/3 of married parents.

We’ve reached the point where less than 1/5 of married parents have household incomes of 49k per year or less.  Let that sink in.

The true middle range for all the people married and raising kids right now is 100-150k.  This is true even in the lowest income region, the South,  at 43% above 100k.  For the Midwest and West it’s 48% and for the Northeast it’s 57%, or a clear majority.

What were things like 11 years ago in 2006?

200k- 6% nationally

150-199k- 6% nationally

100-149k- 18% nationally

75k-99k- 18% nationally (now under 16% in 2017)

50-75k was the single largest group broken out nationally in 2006. It was 23% nationally.  It’s shrunk a lot since then and is between 16 and 17% for 2017.

So in 2006 the true middle range was more like 75k-100k, and nearly 30% of married parents had sub-50k household income for the year.

The bottom rungs are rapidly dropping out of the married parents ladder.

Under 75k went from a slight majority of 52% of such households in 2006 to about 1/3 in 2017.

Or the other way around, in 2006 48% of married couples with kids made 75k per year or more.  In 2017, it’s almost 2/3 (64%).

Unmarried births down for women up to age 29, up for women in their 30s and 40s.

This is a quick note from last year’s NCHS fertility releases.  To be utterly blunt, black women are delaying unwed birth into their 30s and 40s and not having significantly more married births, leading to a general ongoing decline in unwed birth.  So that ratio is going in the right direction, but it’s not likely to drop under 60% unwed anytime soon because the sheer volume of married birth needed isn’t happening.

As for white women, the other group showing any kind of increase in unwed birth, it’s essentially a rounding error-increase.

It’s getting harder and harder to be an unwed mother because their welfare (which is mostly based around part-time employment and consists heavily of subsidized daycare and health insurance for their child) is easy to justify slashing even in blue states since lefties support “reproductive health” (abortion and birth control) and at this point ABSOLUTELY believe that’s what they should be doing instead.  Righties obviously think women should just marry regardless of income circumstance and women are disagreeing in large numbers on that one.

But clusters of multigenerational unwed families mean the raw numbers aren’t going to plunge overnight, merely decline over time in the volatile way that marks unwed fertility.