Positive discrimination opens questions of competence (from Livestream #142)

Affirmative action creates bias

Clip taken from DarkHorse Podcast Livestream #142 (originally streamed live on Sep 17, 2022):


How we boosted the number of female faculty members at our institution, Nature, Sept 8, 2022:

What is this a clip from?
In this 142nd in a series of live discussions with Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying (both PhDs in Biology), discuss the state of the world though an evolutionary lens. Find more from us on Bret’s website ( or Heather’s website (

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Become a member of the DarkHorse Livestreams, and get access to an additional Q&A livestream every month. Join at Heather’s Patreon.

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Theme Music: Thank you to Martin Molin of Wintergatan for providing us the rights to use their excellent music.


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  1. 100% correct in that everyone needs to have a reality check in the physical world. Go get into a martial arts class, get punched in the face and learn you are not made of paper mache

  2. I received my first B ever in AP calculus as a senior. I have always had excellent math and science grades. Despite all those however, my SAT score was in the mid 1100s. At any rate, I was accepted to MIT. I didnt go, too expensive, but most importantly, I felt like I was accepted mostly because of my ethnicity, which is not a legitimate reason. Yes I was extremely smart and had great grades, but so did many others, and being good at math, my numbers adding up only meant that affirmative action was the cause of my acceptance. In hindsight, I don't regret the choice I made. Maybe I would have been in the 1%, but at what cost of my humanity? And I'm not saying everyone at MIT is bad, in fact I believe most people are good. But I know it wasn't the choice for me.

  3. Way back when Kalifornya first brought out Affirmative Action I saw a sign out in front of a fire station in Los Angeles that said "Job Available: apply within". Then at the bottom of the sign it said in smaller print "Whites need not apply".
    As a brown skin LatinO I can affirmatively tell you that sign pissed me off. There is nothing "affirmative" about that BS.

  4. Wait for an insurance company to refuse a payout because of an affirmative action hire wasn’t competent to do a job, and they are responsible for killing people.
    It won’t take long once someone within a company is on a hook and they spill the beans on hiring to virtue signal rather than actual competence.

  5. As a workplace trainer and assessor, once you have a major incident, competence records will be pulled.
    Affirmative hires won’t be protected by insurance companies, they won’t pay out on a liability.
    Companies will be forced to take massive fines and $$ liability.
    Let’s see companies and CEO types risk their personal wealth.

  6. There's a sniff of the didactic in the air, scolds scolding scolds!

    Yeah yeah yeah, some us of us of European ancestry pine for the good old days of the learned patriarchy and their protecting musket toting hired guns, where our gangs ruled the roosts both at home and abroad and we called the shots, literally.

    All people's around the globe regardless of ethnicity are just as smart as us though, and remember how they were treated by our patriarchal crony cancel culture, you work for me and then you're fired! Or get off our land that used to be your land etc. Injustice is like a wheel, here's the new boss the same as the old boss as old Pete Townshend said so elequently in song 50 or so years ago!

    Yeah yeah yeah preachy wannabe bosses are annoying regardless of their whatever, that doesn't preclude the fact both women and ethnic minorities in the USA when embraced as equal colleagues and not minions, can be both great brain surgeons and pilots. Sorry!

  7. If people don't realize the literal SHIT that these hiring practices will create, we are in big trouble. Who is going to go under the knife of a affirmative action SURGEON hire? Giving people a pass because of their "minority status" is not only setting up that culture for abject failure, it's insulting to anyone that is putting in their best effort. Then if we decide to start hiring based on…oh i dont know, SKILL? Then an entire generation of a people will be raised on the idea that they just get the jobs …just because. This is an AWFUL AWFUL system.

  8. I love Bret and Heather, but their main cognitive dissonance is they (correctly) spend 99 out of 100 videos pointing out the insane implosion all around us along multiple axes of policy, yet cannot bring themselves to say the obvious: voting for the right is better and now existential.

  9. What are we going to do then about wealthy Americans flying to developing countries as surgery tourists where they can get whatever procedures they need, done quickly, by highly qualified skilled surgeons at much more reasonable costs? Freely fly to countries that welcome us with open arms, where we get more cost effective and equal or better surgical outcomes? Isn't that free enterprise and capitalism in action? Freedom of movement for all! Or just those who can afford it?

  10. Positive discrimination does open up a new can of worms, but it's always been to its proponents, a necessary evil to offset an already existing and debilitating evil that there was no functional solution to. It probably is out of control at this point though.

  11. why is it that it is always academians who come up with these absurd proposals?is it only because they are so isolated from the real world,or what they were taught by their instructors. or is it they just have too much time to live in their heads in theories?

  12. I'm from NYC and I started noticing this kind of thing 26 years ago, which eventually caused me to become the lone conservative in my family. And an outcast if I talked about it. So I’ve been a closet conservative all these years. When are liberals going to get their common sense back? When are they going to start acting like they used to, instead of like mindless robots?

    Or were they always like this, and I just didn’t realize it? 🤔

  13. I know this is an overused argument, but you will NEVER see this type of “positive discrimination” in sanitation, deep sea fishing, road construction or any male dominated area that lacks prestige.

  14. We forget that bosses secretly discriminate for all kinds of reasons. Some will never hire women, and others will never hire men. Some promote only members of their race (regardless of race) and even religion. Some will never hire a poor person and others will never hire a person with a studder. So the best solution I think is free education and longer library hours. The idea is if you are poor for whatever reason, you can always get the education to get ahead.

  15. Bret/Heather, I completely agree with your take but didn't you both support affirmative action when it was being pushed in the 80s and on? If yes than how is that not just the bad. Maybe you were the exception back then too because I'm confident that academics across the board were on board with affirmative action, giving non white ethnicities preference.

  16. Most politicians, not all but most, operate on doing things that on the surface look and sound goid but in practicality are bad or worse like thise positive bias BS which nothing but discrimination by another name.

  17. Simply putting all white, straight men (or any other demographic) in one group and treating them as homogenous, is the fundamental flaw here.
    Unless the people doing that actually do not care about real diversity.

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