Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Humanities/2009 August 24

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August 24[edit]

Success at University for Private and State School Pupils[edit]

A-level results have recently come out in the UK and, as usual, there is a lot of talk about the differences in grades between private and state educated pupils and how privately educated pupils stand a significantly higher chance of getting into good universities. However, I cannot find any statistics for how well private and state pupils do once they get to University (in terms of drop out rates and degree classifications). That would seem to be the simplest way to get a general idea as to whether state school pupils are being treated unfairly or whether it is simply that private schools offer a better education. Can anyone else find those statistics (preferably spread over several universities and comparing like-to-like with respect to A-level grades)? Thanks! --Tango (talk) 01:49, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

This is a great question, Tango. After a half hour of searching, I can't find the data you require. Most of the stats available appear focused on the rates of application vs. the rate of acceptance between the school types. The best I can do it direct you to the Higher Education Statistics Agency, who presumably have the raw data to do such a comparison. You could always contact their Information Provision department on (+44 (0) 1242 211133) or Rockpocket 07:05, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
I also can't find figures for this, but having attended a state school and a prestigious university I would say anecdotally that there isn't a significant difference. You may be interested in this article. DJ Clayworth (talk) 14:01, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
There's a HEFCE report from 2003 about this. The full report[1] says that 56% of students from private schools get an upper second degree or better, against 53% from state schools (LEA schools specifically). But if you compare state and private pupils with the same A-level results, the state pupils do significantly better at university. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:16, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
Found it! [2] 25% of independent school candidates get a First Class degree, while 24.5% of state school candidates. Almost certainly equal within the margins of error. DJ Clayworth (talk) 14:07, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
But you have to remember that academic distinctions at universities are conferred by a different department from the one that makes the decisions on admissions. From the data quoted above it seems as though privately and state educated pupils do pretty much equally well at universities. But I don't see how that says anything one way or the other regarding possible bias at the admissions stage. --Richardrj talk email 14:22, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
At my university admissions and degree classifications were both decided by the department a student was part of, so I'm not sure what you are getting at there. If the students do equally well that suggests the admissions process is working. If private students did worse than state ones that would suggest that the admissions process was biased in favour of private students - ie. it was letting private students in when they weren't the best students that applied. --Tango (talk) 15:44, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
Thank you all for those links. I'll go and read them now and see if they answer my question. --Tango (talk) 15:44, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
That HEFCE report is fantastic, exactly what I was looking for! (The other links are interesting, but lack the thoroughness I was looking for.) I've just finished reading it and have also found a follow-up study from 2005 ([3]) that I'm going to read now. Thank you all for your help, especially 193! --Tango (talk) 18:39, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
Ok, the 2005 study is only a minor extension of the 2003 one (by including people that took gap years). Can anyone find more up-to-date studies on the subject? (The 2003 study is based on people that started uni about 12 years ago, a lot has changed since then.) --Tango (talk) 18:55, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

Vasily Zaitsev[edit]

I'm in the midst of watching Enemy at the Gates, and I was wondering about the real-life Vasily Zaitsev. What did he do after the war as a civilian? bibliomaniac15 04:00, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

Vasily Zaytsev (the article, not the person) says he "managed a factory in Kiev". Heroes of the Soviet Union 1941-45 says he worked at a textile factory in Kiev. Clarityfiend (talk) 04:22, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
Ah, thank you very much. bibliomaniac15 21:20, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

Islam in the Kings of Georgia[edit]

Were all the Kings of Georgia force to converted to Islam after Luarsab II of Georgia? Did the other members of the royal family converted to Islam or remain Orthodoxes? What religion were most of the last Georgian monarchs and current Georgian pretenders? --Queen Elizabeth II's Little Spy (talk) 05:32, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

Teimuraz II and his successors were Christians. All kings between Laursab II and Teimuraz II were theoretically Muslim.--Shahab (talk) 05:53, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

Libertarianism and inheritance law[edit]

What is the libertarian view on inheritance law? Do libertarians support inheritance law or oppose it? --AquaticMonkey (talk) 13:44, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

They're generally opposed to inheritance (aka estate or death) tax, e.g.[4][5], which shouldn't be surprising as they are opposed to taxes particularly those which interfere with wealth-creation. Or is there some other aspect of inheritance law you are interested in? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:24, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
Have you read Libertarian perspectives on inheritance?? Nil Einne (talk) 15:58, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
Generally speaking, there is no tax on estates less than 1 million dollars. The Libertarians are in the position of arguing for the wealthy. It's no wonder they get about 7 popular votes in every election. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 16:37, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
What is the jurisdiction where the "under $1 million is free of estate tax" is true? It's not Canada; that I know. // BL \\ (talk) 21:36, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
It's the US, generally speaking; though I had thought that under the Bush administration it had basically been doubled to 2 million dollars. Tempshill (talk) 03:45, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I'm talking the U.S., and taking state laws into account to some extent. I can't account for Canada. They're a highly socialistic nation, so they probably tax the air that they breathe. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 10:39, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
Ah, Bugs. Always ready with a snappy and wildly inaccurate insult. DJ Clayworth (talk) 13:58, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
Will we get the $ back when the government dies? I doubt it. Googlemeister (talk) 17:56, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
Actually, $1 million is not a tax on the wealthy -- we're not talking about income, but the value a person has saved up over his lifetime. Many middle income wage earners can end up saving this amount or more over a lifetime. But, putting that aside, the larger issue is *regardless of someone's income* whether the state has the right to confiscate money that has been legally earned and on which the person has already paid income tax. Be very careful in answering in the affirmative -- if we claim that the state has a higher right to the fruits of one's labor than does the laborer, we have argued in favor of slavery. Wikiant (talk) 15:31, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
They're not taxing the person that earned the money. (He's dead.) They're taxing the person who gets the money. If the money goes to a non-profit charity there's no tax.
Given the choice between taxing someone when they earn money through hard work, and taxing someone when they earn money through having a rich daddy, it's a no brainer to me. (talk) 00:00, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
If the tax did not also apply to gifts, you'd have the beginnings of an argument. But, the law taxes (just as if it were an inheritence) money that a person gives to another while the giver is still alive. Hence, whether the person is alive or dead is irrelevant -- the law gives the state a higher claim on a person's labor than the person has on his own labor. Wikiant (talk) 02:29, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
The argument has nothing to do with who is dead and who isn't. The point is that if you get a huge sum of money that you have not personally earned, then you have to pay taxes on it. Better, in my mind, to tax free money than to increase taxes on money that is the result of your own personal hard work. (Keep in mind that we're talking about millions of dollars here. Excluding business or farm related assets.)
If you're angry that the two million dollars you got in free money only worked out to $1,974,000 after taxes, then I'm afraid that I can't imagine myself ever having very much sympathy about it.
The idea that the money has "already been taxed" is a red herring. All money has been taxed millions of times, pretty much every time it changes hands. The question is whether the person who has the money NOW has been taxed on it. (talk) 18:54, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
OK, but if what you say is correct, then the government has the right to tax all gifts (that's money one receives that one has not personally earned). It also has the right to tax the food, clothing, and shelter that one provides for one's children (it isn't money, but it is stuff of value that the children have not personally earned). And, if the government has the right to tax, it has the right to tax at any level. So, it could (I'm not saying that it would, but I am saying that your argument says it has the right) to tax gifts at 100% -- thereby prohibiting you from giving money or objects to anyone. Once more, how is this materially different from slavery? Wikiant (talk) 20:34, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
So you're saying income tax is slavery as well? Nil Einne (talk) 06:52, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
Yes, the implication of an income tax is that the government's right to my labor supercedes my right to my labor. Wikiant (talk) 13:23, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
You can labor all you like. Use that labor to build a stone hut and a bearskin loincloth. That is, as you point out, your right. But if you want to use that labor to interact with the exclusive club we call "Civilization" you will have to pay the membership dues. Can't have it both ways. APL (talk) 04:11, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
It wasn't the taxman who came up with the idea of division of labor, let alone technology. The state likes to take credit (and charge a fee) for everything good; but civilization came before it and endures in spite of it. —Tamfang (talk) 05:20, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
That doesn't seem to relate to your original response where you said the larger issue is *regardless of someone's income* whether the state has the right to confiscate money that has been legally earned and on which the person has already paid income tax. Be very careful in answering in the affirmative -- if we claim that the state has a higher right to the fruits of one's labor than does the laborer, we have argued in favor of slavery. If you believe all tax is slavery you should have just said so from the beginning rather then going on this long winded discussion that seemed to start of with the repeated assertation that an inheritance tax is very different from an income tax (which I agree with) and how the inheritance tax is slavery where you eventually reached the conclusion all tax is slavery. Were you just trying to say an inheritance tax is a worse form of slavery then an income tax or something? Nil Einne (talk) 20:56, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, I was simply answering within the context of the question (which was inheritence tax). Yes, I'm of the general opinion that the type of tax is irrelevant -- stealing is stealing. (FWIW, philosophers debunk the social contract argument that APL proposes on the grounds (among others) that a contract is not possible if one does not have a reasonable means of declining the contract.) Wikiant (talk) 18:30, 30 August 2009 (UTC)


Is a falcon a type of an eagle? Christie the puppy lover (talk) 14:47, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

No. It's in a separate family of birds of prey. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 15:26, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
Maybe not authoritative, but definitely informative. DRosenbach (Talk | Contribs) 18:49, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
Some biologists consider eagles and falcons to be in different orders, which is one step removed even from family. Eagles are sometimes classified in the same order as falcons (order Falconiformes), but many ornithologists place them in their own order, Accipitriformes. Even if they are both part of the Falconiformes order, they are distinctly different families, as noted above. Eagles belong to the Accipitridae family, while Falcons belong to the Falconidae family. See the articles for Eagle and Falcon for more information.--Jayron32 20:29, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
OK, maybe a simpler answer: No, a falcon is not a type of eagle. But it is a type of raptor, or bird of prey. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 12:52, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
And the fact that an eagle is not a falcon does not prevent some people using eagles in falconry. Googlemeister (talk) 14:42, 25 August 2009 (UTC)


I find it rather strange that one of the first book written about unfettered globalization: ("Unfettered Globalization: A New Orthodoxy" by C-Rene Dominique, Praeger, 1999) is not even referenced. Why? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:54, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

Can you clarify your question? Who do you think it should be referenced by? AndyJones (talk) 21:20, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
If you own a copy of the book, and feel it contains material that could support statements or assertions in an existing Wikipedia article, feel free to be bold and cite it. See WP:Citing sources for guidance. Karenjc 21:42, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
Also, without knowing anything about this particular book, it is often the case that the reason some book is the "first" about something is that the idea is not particularly noteworthy - this can be the case if most or all books about this topic is written by the same author, and is not referenced by anyone else. (Of course, this could also be the case for truly groundbreaking science, and it's hard to tell the difference, but most of the time that is not the case) Jørgen (talk) 11:13, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

Original research warning (i.e., I know something about the subject): Be sure to identify the book as fiction, since there is not now, nor has there ever been, anything that could reasonably be termed "unfettered globalization." DOR (HK) (talk) 08:48, 26 August 2009 (UTC)