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Discussion of criticisms of WCI Scholarship essay contest

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  • Discussion of criticisms of WCI Scholarship essay contest

    While I think WCI is being a little thin-skinned on some of the criticism he is getting in the comments sections, I'm am completely baffled by those who are concerned about a "lack of diversity" among the winners.

    I would love for those making this criticism to show their work:

    Where exactly was the bias in a contest (be specific) of this nature and what would you suggest to remedy it?

    Any discussion on the other criticisms can go here too as far as I'm concerned.

  • #2
    Diversity destroys trust.

    Robert Putnam.  Harvard.

    From his Wikipedia:

    "In recent years, Putnam has been engaged in a comprehensive study of the relationship between trust within communities and their ethnic diversity. His conclusion based on over 40 cases and 30,000 people within the United States is that, other things being equal, more diversity in a community is associated with less trust both between and within ethnic groups."

    And he started with a bias to aggrandize diversity. He couldn't believe his own results.

    Diversity is code word for " destroy white culture"

    Comment


    • #3
      I think all comments on that post should be deleted and comments locked. Maybe the comments should be moved here. Even if the negative comments have merit (and I’m not saying they do as I didn’t read all the submissions or even all winner submissions) they excessively detract from the good work that the essay writers, the judges, the sponsors, and WCI have done, which is a shame.

      Comment


      • #4
        I think the winner should be congratulated in the comments.  If people keep making political arguments over whether a washing machine is black, white, or some other color it should be here in the lounge.  BTW my washer is white and a front loader, no steam.  The essay was very creative and as I mentioned at the bottom of the comments if this argument on diversity continues I suggest not using photos and using first name initial only.  Those of us who are way beyond med school should only post positive comments for these young people to read or just don't comment.  Using proper manners is a good physician skill.

        Comment


        • #5




          Diversity destroys trust.

          Robert Putnam.  Harvard.

          From his Wikipedia:

          “In recent years, Putnam has been engaged in a comprehensive study of the relationship between trust within communities and their ethnic diversity. His conclusion based on over 40 cases and 30,000 people within the United States is that, other things being equal, more diversity in a community is associated with less trust both between and within ethnic groups.”

          And he started with a bias to aggrandize diversity. He couldn’t believe his own results.

          Diversity is code word for ” destroy white culture”
          Click to expand...


          Well this devolved quickly.  I don't think diversity is code for "destroy white culture".  I know that is absolutely not what I meant and likely not what anyone else meant.   I intended diversity to simply mean diversity.  I wasn't even making a judgement about whether it was a good thing.

          So, to avoid confusion in the future, in your lexicon what's the word to use when someone wants to say diversity and specifically doesn't want it to mean "destroy white culture".

          Comment


          • #6
            Guess I need to read the winning essays.

            I was a first round judge. In the small sample
            I saw there was plenty of diversity.
            An alt-brown look at medicine, money, faith, & family
            www.RogueDadMD.com

            Comment


            • #7
              @AR,  the hard-core elitists use the term POC, persons of color.   To them it's all about the skin color.

              Comment


              • #8




                I think the winner should be congratulated in the comments.  If people keep making political arguments over whether a washing machine is black, white, or some other color it should be here in the lounge.  BTW my washer is white and a front loader, no steam.  The essay was very creative and as I mentioned at the bottom of the comments if this argument on diversity continues I suggest not using photos and using first name initial only.  Those of us who are way beyond med school should only post positive comments for these young people to read or just don’t comment.  Using proper manners is a good physician skill.
                Click to expand...


                I disagree with this somewhat.  The world is kind of a nasty place.  Especially the internet world.  That's reality.  Any winner of any internet-based contest has got to expect some hate coming their way.

                As much as WCI likes to apply his ridiculous "conversation in his living room" standard to discussion here, that's not the way the world works.

                If there was a real, live awards ceremony and someone was heckling the winner from the audience as he was receiving an award, I'd agree that would be horrible.  But the same standards of etiquette don't apply online.  WCI can choose to apply them by force and just ban posters and delete comments that he doesn't like (or as you suggest, he could lock the comments), but I think that would have some undesirable consequences.  It's his site and he can do what he wants, but doing that doesn't really do anyone any favors.

                While "using proper manners is a good physician skill", I'd say in today's world learning to deal with online criticism is an even more important skill.  These "young people" are adults.  Some of the criticisms they are receiving are quite frankly absurd, but trying to shield them from the criticism is not the best solution, in my opinion.

                 

                 

                Comment


                • #9
                  I can't remember what the composition of past scholarship recipients has been.  Obviously a sample size of five winners this year isn't enough to conclude anything about the overall applicant base or characteristics of applicants likely to be judged more favorably.

                  It still takes a mental pygmy to infer that there is bias in favor of white males based solely on the composition of the winners if they have nothing else to back it up.  The NBA is about 80% black, but I don't think that held Jeremy Lin or Gordon Hayward back.  I don't think men have a harder time matching in pediatrics.  Etc.

                  Comment


                  • #10







                    I think the winner should be congratulated in the comments.  If people keep making political arguments over whether a washing machine is black, white, or some other color it should be here in the lounge.  BTW my washer is white and a front loader, no steam.  The essay was very creative and as I mentioned at the bottom of the comments if this argument on diversity continues I suggest not using photos and using first name initial only.  Those of us who are way beyond med school should only post positive comments for these young people to read or just don’t comment.  Using proper manners is a good physician skill.
                    Click to expand…


                    I disagree with this somewhat.  The world is kind of a nasty place.  Especially the internet world.  That’s reality.  Any winner of any internet-based contest has got to expect some hate coming their way.As much as WCI likes to apply his ridiculous “conversation in his living room” standard to discussion here, that’s not the way the world works.

                    If there was a real, live awards ceremony and someone was heckling the winner from the audience as he was receiving an award, I’d agree that would be horrible.  But the same standards of etiquette don’t apply online.  WCI can choose to apply them by force and just ban posters and delete comments that he doesn’t like (or as you suggest, he could lock the comments), but I think that would have some undesirable consequences.  It’s his site and he can do what he wants, but doing that doesn’t really do anyone any favors.

                     
                    Click to expand...


                    Totally and completely disagree that my "living room policy" doesn't do anyone any favors. Compare the level of civility in a place like the Bogleheads forum to what you see in the comments section of a CNN article. Why is one different from the other? Moderation applied "by force." It does EVERYONE a favor. It's even better when people can police themselves, of course.

                    You want to know what I feel most badly about- the emails I got from winners that suggested that perhaps they felt a little guilty about winning because of comments unthinking people posted below their submission. Like this one:
                    I can't thank you enough for the incredible scholarship opportunity. I'm sorry that you had to spend time defending the scholarship selection process and [essays] in the comments section. This really is life-changing...

                    Yea, it makes me feel more angry and thin-skinned to see OUR COMMUNITY treating OUR SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS like that rather than just getting crap from some whole life salesman who is trying to screw over OUR COMMUNITY. I mean what other post has been run in the last 7 years where multiple people have suggested "Maybe you should close the post to comments"? Never. It was embarrassing to me to see how members of this community were acting. And yea, that pissed me off that people were so insensitive to how that would make the winners, the judges, and the sponsors feel.
                    Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Gosh, I had no idea.

                      I agree with Hatton1 and the others. In the comments section, the winners should be congratulated. If you have any gripes, email WCI (he is a big boy with a thick skin who can dish it out, too). If you would like to constructively discuss the scholarship process, it would be worth a thread or two. I remember vaguely having a minor issue or two, but I cannot recall, so it must be of no import.

                      Finally, if you are vehemently opposed, don’t contribute next year and if you really want to do the world a favor, start your own ************************ scholarship and run it any way you please. If I like how it is set up, I promise to support, as I have personally supported the WCI scholarship for the last three years.

                      Comment


                      • #12










                        I think the winner should be congratulated in the comments.  If people keep making political arguments over whether a washing machine is black, white, or some other color it should be here in the lounge.  BTW my washer is white and a front loader, no steam.  The essay was very creative and as I mentioned at the bottom of the comments if this argument on diversity continues I suggest not using photos and using first name initial only.  Those of us who are way beyond med school should only post positive comments for these young people to read or just don’t comment.  Using proper manners is a good physician skill.
                        Click to expand…


                        I disagree with this somewhat.  The world is kind of a nasty place.  Especially the internet world.  That’s reality.  Any winner of any internet-based contest has got to expect some hate coming their way.As much as WCI likes to apply his ridiculous “conversation in his living room” standard to discussion here, that’s not the way the world works.

                        If there was a real, live awards ceremony and someone was heckling the winner from the audience as he was receiving an award, I’d agree that would be horrible.  But the same standards of etiquette don’t apply online.  WCI can choose to apply them by force and just ban posters and delete comments that he doesn’t like (or as you suggest, he could lock the comments), but I think that would have some undesirable consequences.  It’s his site and he can do what he wants, but doing that doesn’t really do anyone any favors.

                         
                        Click to expand…


                        Totally and completely disagree that my “living room policy” doesn’t do anyone any favors. Compare the level of civility in a place like the Bogleheads forum to what you see in the comments section of a CNN article. Why is one different from the other? Moderation applied “by force.” It does EVERYONE a favor. It’s even better when people can police themselves, of course.

                        You want to know what I feel most badly about- the emails I got from winners that suggested that perhaps they felt a little guilty about winning because of comments unthinking people posted below their submission. Like this one:
                        I can’t thank you enough for the incredible scholarship opportunity. I’m sorry that you had to spend time defending the scholarship selection process and [essays] in the comments section. This really is life-changing…

                        Yea, it makes me feel more angry and thin-skinned to see OUR COMMUNITY treating OUR SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS like that rather than just getting crap from some whole life salesman who is trying to screw over OUR COMMUNITY. I mean what other post has been run in the last 7 years where multiple people have suggested “Maybe you should close the post to comments”? Never. It was embarrassing to me to see how members of this community were acting. And yea, that pissed me off that people were so insensitive to how that would make the winners, the judges, and the sponsors feel.
                        Click to expand...


                        1. Your mistake is that you're comparing the people who post here to the population that posts on a CNN comments section on the type of content that CNN produces. You're better than that.  It would be as silly to apply a medical study to a completely different patient population than the one in study.  I doubt that's a mistake you would make.  It's also a false dichotomy to imply there is nothing between CNN and bogleheads.  I will say that your level of moderation is better than either, in my view.  I absolutely think bogleheads would be better with more liberal moderation.

                        2. It's very difficult to judge the value of the content that you are missing out on because of heavy-handed moderation.  If the content never gets posted because of your deterrence, we don't know how good it would be.  It may be better, it may be worse.  I don't know and neither do you.  So, you're free to imagine that heavy-handed moderation is better, but that doesn't make it so.  Of course, it's your site, so you're free to do as you please based on the effects you imagine.

                        FWIW, I think your implementation is different than your stated goal. When I first read the whole living room thing, I would have expected way more moderation than what you actually do.  So, I actually think you're successful because you're not implementing the policy as I interpreted it (I was expecting MMM levels of censoring dissent, as he has the same policy and that's presumably where you got the idea to word it that way).  Or you just have a lot more lively conversation in your living room than most people.

                        3. As far as how the scholarship winners are treated, it looks like we're going to continue to disagree on that. Well I guess that we agree that they were not treated kindly by many.  No argument there.  The problem is that you insist on treating this like some sort of real life awards presentation where criticism in the moment would be gauche at best.  The etiquette is different online.  And even the negative comments weren't anywhere near what you'd see on the comments section of CNN or something like that. Not even close.  Sure, you can take a heavier hand if you want, but the bottom line is that people's online posting habits are formed by the existing internet culture.  You can't change that and if you're going to feel bad about it repeatedly, you're in for a lot of disappointment.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          If WCI decides to run a competition of whining essays on the topic of the problems associated with the scholarship competition, I will contribute money and offer to be a judge, too.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            AR ...

                            “ As far as how the scholarship winners are treated, it looks like we’re going to continue to disagree on that. Well I guess that we agree that they were not treated kindly by many. No argument there. The problem is that you insist on treating this like some sort of real life awards presentation where criticism in the moment would be gauche at best. The etiquette is different online. And even the negative comments weren’t anywhere near what you’d see on the comments section of CNN or something like that. Not even close. Sure, you can take a heavier hand if you want, but the bottom line is that people’s online posting habits are formed by the existing internet culture. You can’t change that and if you’re going to feel bad about it repeatedly, you’re in for a lot of disappointment.”

                             

                            I completely disagree. The internet does not give you a pass to act like a jerk. Some people think so, but they are, well, usually the jerks.

                            Comment


                            • #15




                              AR …

                              “ As far as how the scholarship winners are treated, it looks like we’re going to continue to disagree on that. Well I guess that we agree that they were not treated kindly by many. No argument there. The problem is that you insist on treating this like some sort of real life awards presentation where criticism in the moment would be gauche at best. The etiquette is different online. And even the negative comments weren’t anywhere near what you’d see on the comments section of CNN or something like that. Not even close. Sure, you can take a heavier hand if you want, but the bottom line is that people’s online posting habits are formed by the existing internet culture. You can’t change that and if you’re going to feel bad about it repeatedly, you’re in for a lot of disappointment.”

                               

                              I completely disagree. The internet does not give you a pass to act like a jerk. Some people think so, but they are, well, usually the jerks.
                              Click to expand...


                              Well this one is easy. You're plainly wrong in your interpretation of my post.  Your response is essentially a non sequitur.   What I'm talking about is a description of the state of internet posting.  People post more like jerks online than when they converse in real life.  That is what they actually do.  If you actually disagree with this, I don't know what to tell you.

                              Now whether people should act (more) like jerks when they post online is an entirely different question.  I personally strive to be just as much of a jerk live as I am online as I don't enjoy pretense (live or online).  I never made any judgement on whether people should or should not act more like jerks when they post online.  I actually tried hard not to, in order to avoid precisely this misunderstanding.

                              So when we have a discussion of etiquette, it is defined by what actually happens in a particular setting.  In other words, the baseline for etiquette in any other social situation is what the other people are doing and what is actually happening.  We don't define proper etiquette by how we want things to be, we define them by how they actually are.

                              Many times the two are the same.  For example, at a black tie event, we expect everyone to be polite, well-mannered and dressed a certain way.  That is both what everyone actually does and what we (presumably) actually want.

                              Online, people actually act like jerks  (to use your description), but you want them to be more polite.  Etiquette refers to the former, not the latter.

                              Etiquette online is clearly different than it is for a live conversation or event.  That is probably worse, in your view, but it is the reality of the situation.

                              Comment

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