The Logics

Harvard Students Fail a 1964 5th Grade Mental Skills Test

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In the News by Larry Neal Gowdy

Copyright©2014 - November 21, 2014

Harvard Students Fail a 1964 5th Grade Mental Skills Test

The news media reports that in October of 2014 a Harvard tutor, Carl L. Miller, gave an undisclosed number of Harvard students an alleged "literacy" test that was allegedly used for Louisiana voters in 1964 who could not prove that they had at least a 5th grade education. All of the Harvard test-takers are reported to have failed the 30 question 10 minute test because - allegedly - the test was purposefully "impossible" to pass because - allegedly - light-skinned people in Louisiana did not want poor folks and dark-skinned people to vote. The 2014 Harvard test is briefly documented in a 5:18 length YouTube video - Harvard Students Fail 5th Grade Literacy Test - showing several Harvard students failing to rationalize elementary English sentences.

The YouTube video (accredited to Carl L. Miller and Dennis Ojogho) has description text stating: "Since this test, in principle, was equivalent to proving a fifth grade education, we thought it might be interesting to see if some of the brightest young minds in the world could pass this literacy test. We did our best to recreate the testing conditions that black and poor white voters faced back in 1964. Thirty questions. Ten minutes. Not a single question wrong. If anyone could pass a basic literacy test, it would be Harvard students right?"

I did not participate in Miller's project, so I do not have any means of verifying which test the Harvard students may have been given, nor of verifying that the test was in fact given, but I did find an online test that claimed to be the same one, and since question #27 matched what a Harvard student read out loud on the video - "Write right from the left to the right as you see it spelled here." - then I will assume for the moment that the test I downloaded is likely the same or similar.

The original drafts of this article had exceeded 7,000 words with growing momentum, but since I am trying to keep my In the News articles to within around 1,000 words each I will attempt to be brief while retaining as positive of a tone as possible.

In my southern 60s culture it was unremarkable to hit the ceilings on IQ tests, and holding world records (still unbroken today) for any test or skill only sparked a momentary rise of an eyebrow, or, most commonly, no response at all. We knew what the differences are between literacy tests and mental skills tests, and we were also familiar with the prankster students who created fake intelligence tests that were very similar to what Harvard is now claiming to have been a "literacy" test.

A well-known mantra in all coherent universities: "It is wrong, always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence." (William Clifford) What does Harvard's history department - and all other departments - say about the video's claims?

Harvard and most all other universities have psychology departments, and yet the universities do not believe in their own teachings. All adept psychology departments know that negativity is detrimental to the mind and body, and the departments know that hurtful words are more damaging and long-lasting than physical injury (or at least to individuals who have working memories and can think), and yet Harvard has opened its arms to lecturers who foment hate, anti-family values, anti-cultural values, and every known form of negative psychological abuse. If the universities practiced what they teach, then the pro-hate speakers would not have been permitted to give lectures, and neither would universities spew negativity upon society.

Preachers who steal tithes, environmentalists who live in big homes and use cell phones, animal rights activists who use cell phones, universities that permit negativity, there is never a shortage of hypocrisy, and hypocrisy exists because the individuals cannot cross-light their own thoughts. Lewis Terman gave a noun to the inability to cross-light thoughts: imbecile. What university will cross-light its own behavior?

The Harvard video is a mere preexisting radicalized political opinion slanted with the false claim that the 'literacy test' somehow gave weight to the political opinion. To enter into a depth of discussion about the video would also require my stepping down into the same squalor of negativity as Harvard's, which I choose to not do.

I do not scold a dog for having wetted a car tire, I merely give a short holler to get the dog's attention. Neither do I scold a bird for dropping droppings on the car, I merely speak towards the bird and wave an arm to shoo the bird away. Similarly I will not scold Harvard. It is enough to simply recognize the countless contradictions, hypocrisies, and dirty negatives throughout the video and news reports, give a brief holler, and then walk on.