The scientific Tea Party

I love the headline. Yale Professor’s “Surprising” Discovery.

http://www.ijreview.com/2013/10/87474-yale-professors-surprising-discovery-tea-party-supporters-scientifically-literate/

 

So a study has discovered that people who identify as Tea Party tend to be more scientifically literate than average. Having just spent the last few days in Huntsville “Rocket City” Alabama, where most of the people I talked to were overwhelmingly conservative and also rocket scientists, well, duh.

 

The only part of this that is surprising to me is that the professor went ahead and released results that went against the established groupthink narrative. A proper groupthinking professor would have just rerun the study using the dumbest backwoods morons he could find until he got the results he wanted. So way to go, Prof.

 

I did love this part:

 

I’ve got to confess, though, I found this result surprising. As I pushed the button to run the analysis on my computer, I fully expected I’d be shown a modest negative correlation between identifying with the Tea Party and science comprehension.

 

But then again, I don’t know a single person who identifies with the Tea Party. All my impressions come from watching cable tv — & I don’t watch Fox News very often — and reading the “paper” (New York Times daily, plus a variety of politics-focused internet sites like Huffington Post & Politico).

 

I’m a little embarrassed, but mainly I’m just glad that I no longer hold this particular mistaken view.

 

Wow…

 

You mean that the media portrayal of a group who they are diametrically philosophically opposed to might not be totally accurate? This is my shocked face.

 

The anti-science dumb Tea Party narrative comes from a few places. First off, in proper Liberal Internet Arguing Checklist fashion, they will take the dumbest son of a bitch on our side and use him as our poster child. So that crazy guy down the street at the Man Will Never Fly ‘Cause it Ain’t God’s Will clubhouse next door to the Flat Earth Society sign proclaiming Dinosaurs is Satan’s Lie… Yeah, congratulations, the New York Times just declared he speaks for half the country. And the big city dwellers who think Honey Boo Boo is a documentary about red state America believe it. Meanwhile, left wingers aren’t getting their kid’s vaccinations because Jim Carrey said so, and fire has never melted steel, but the right hates science. Keep your Jesus out of my uterus!

 

Of course the right’s supposed hatred of light and truth hinges on exactly two topics, global warming and abortion.

 

On global warming (pardon, me that’s climate change now) why yes, in fact we do realize that the temperature changes on planet Earth, we just don’t think mankind has much if anything to do with it, and even if we did, how come your super scientific answer to this issue always somehow boils down to “more socialism”?

 

The second reason we’re anti-science is that people on my side overwhelmingly tend to dislike abortion. Of course you can’t hold a belief that goes against proper liberal groupthink and not be a moron! The only possible reason you could be against abortion is that you’re stupid. So of course, if you think a human fetus is human, and thus should qualify for the same legal protections as other humans, then you’re going to get a bunch of weird ass strawmen thrown at you, like how we must think masturbation is murder… Wow. Obviously! I just forgot the part where raw genetic material or unfertilized eggs are human beings. Then some lady will scream about parasites, but we’re the ones that don’t like science? I love when libs on Facebook tell me that there is no scientifically agreed upon definition of life (uh… what?) and human fetuses totally don’t count, because science!

 

But don’t worry… Remember the dude from the Flat Earth Society? He thinks birth control is a Reptoid plot and should be illegal, and he speaks for half of America, don’tcha know? He’ll be all over the totally unbiased news, while the rest of us are scratching our heads wondering where this whole War on Women thing came from.   

 

Meanwhile, every other topic in the universe doesn’t count. So you’re a literal rocket scientist but you think government spending is out of control? Then you’re obviously a moron. Brain surgeon that listens to Rush Limbaugh? Racist. That’s the default setting, and heaven forbid there is any actual thought applied, because if you disagree with big government, then you have to be dumb.  

 

Now here’s the interesting thing. What if they were to modify that study and differentiate between hard science and the mushy soft social sciences? So let’s put our physics, mathematics, and crunchy engineering types and separate them out from the psychology and sociology and gendernormative cismale theory of cultural basket weaving science majors. My guess is that the numbers would be even more skewed.

 

Because the Tea Party is made up of people who can do math.

 

96 Responses

  1. As a conservative Computer Scientist, I love this.

  2. Yea Verily doth the truth be spake.

  3. Math is nonpartisan.

    • STEM ( Science Technology Engineering Math ) degrees are very very partisan.

      Leftards shun hard degrees like the plague, indenture themselves with student loans for worthless soft degrees, and then expect to be bailed out of their indenturment.

      People with STEM degrees get the actual work done. People with soft degrees enter academia or politics, and spend their lives stealing from us like the parasites they are.

      • Not all of us non-STEM majors are liberal.

        I’m a history/poly sci major, seeking to become a teacher. SOMEONE has to try and stop the mental pollution at the source!

        Of course, I’m doing this after 25 years of Navy/other civilian jobs….so I have some perspective and a basis in reality.

      • But you are a part of the educational establishment, Cargosquid.

        Where does a History Major find work? Usually in academia. How are large numbers of professors supported? By encouraging ignorant high-school kids to get degrees that can only qualify them for the few jobs available in Universities.

        Didn’t you notice TAs and the nontenured getting treated like slaves? Possibly because there are not enough postilions to go around? So how to fix this? Encourage even more student loan money to be spent by students for degrees that do not pay?

        In the past, subjects like history were only pursued by people of means, or people who were dead serious about this career choice. But with GSL, you get every imbecile who wants a sheepskin, but thinks math is hard.

        If it makes you feel any better, the socialist economy Obama is trying to build will put the STEM crowd out of work as well.

        Enjoy the Decline!

      • But not everyone taking history is a history major – history (real history) is something everyone should take, including STEM students. (I’m a CPA, but I love history and took a lot of it in college). And we desperately need good history teachers. It was a real history teacher who instilled my worship of the Constitution (I think he started out as a Socialist, but he actually spent time in Eastern Europe before the wall came down, and that opened his eyes).

        We need to bring back the original liberal arts degree for college students, the standard one that every undergrad used to get before the boomers destroyed it, the one that required math and real science and history and literature and real economics, and you didn’t even pick a major until the last two years. A whole lot of the “social sciences” (gawd, what an oxymoron) majors would either have to buckle down and learn some real stuff, or they’d flunk out.

      • Not claiming that there is not a place for history teachers, Laurie.

        But this business of indenturing below average IQ people with GSLs to get soft degrees and then a job as a waiter just has to stop.

        GSL needs to go away, and today’s useless college degrees need to be replaced with a HS diploma that means more than “I was babysat for 12 years”.

  4. Erm, what happened to the font?

  5. XKCD sums up my attitude nicely:

    http://xkcd.com/54/

    • my wild ass guess is cosmic background radiation.

    • XKCD can always sum up someone’s opinion at any given moment….. They’re awesome that way.

    • That looks like the Planck curve: The distribution of radiant intensity emitted by a blackbody in thermodynamic equilibrium. It’s significant as science because, prior to doing the experiments, there was nothing in our understanding of physics in the 19th century that would lead us to expect that particular distribution.

      It eventually, along with a lot of other significant observations, lead to the development of quantum physics.

  6. Reminds me of the whole ‘E liberal states are giving up educational funding to support the illiterates you Bible Belters are raising’ when it’s the other way around entirely

  7. Of course, he’ll still hang on to all his other mistaken views. It never occurs to this paragon of curiosity, “What else might I be mistaken about?”

  8. Another thing to consider, many Tea-Party people tend toward practical-intelligence. The left generally biases toward rhetorical intelligence. They’re both valuable types of thought. Obviously, I’m writing this comment on the site of a storyteller who creates product I’m eager to purchase. Bill Whittle places a lot of focus on this topic, and will say it better than I (he, like Larry, has more of that rhetorical intelligence than I).

    https://www.billwhittle.com/commentary/moving-needle

    • I’m on the rhetorical side. All that crunchy science stuff is freaking HARD. 🙂

    • Just read that thing from Whittle. He’s spot on. I’ve pointed out a few times that is one of the reasons my stuff is so popular. I’ve got the same arguments as everybody else on my side, only I’ve got a gift for articulating them in an interesting way.

      And food for thought, you’ve got lots of people in the entertainment industry that agree with me, only most of them stay quiet out of fear of being blackballed and boycotted by the concern trolls.So a lot of the people rhetorically gifted on our side never speak up.

    • Great article. What this boils down to for me is the Left is just lazy. They want everything handed to them. That includes thought (opinion see MSNBC, CNN, Big 3, NYT, HuffPost), provision (Obamacare and entitlements), and exemption (illegal immigration, voter registration). They also use thug tactics to argue and get a point across (See ACORN, Black Panthers voter intimidation). When you sit on your rear listening to what the Big 3 media outlets tell you, then why would look anywhere else for a “reasonable” opinion? The government is driving the car for you. It really takes someone with at least half a brain and a good upbringing to really hash things out for what they are.
      Thanks for sharing.
      -Keith

  9. Yeah, well, flip side is if you get the liberals thinking you’re all math smart and stuff, that just makes you an unfeeling reptilian capitalist.

    It’s a propaganda engine designed to de-humanize the enemy. That would be us, the Flyover People. I’m from Canadian flyover country in Ontario, be assured the liberal elites do the same thing here.

    That’s the bad news. Good news is, we grow all their food. They have yet to consider that little reality.

    • Plus, at least in the U.S., we have the guns.

      • No, we don’t. Nor do we control the drones.
        Neither do we have searchable voice to text records all of their phone calles, nor email, nor databases loaded with all contact info of everyone who’s ever contacted you through email.

        Nor do we have digital images of every piece of snail mail OCR’d and databased.

        We’re seriously outnumbered, and now we know that even the f’ng park rangers are against us.

        I hope you can hold a tune, ’cause we’re all going to be in the gulags together with no internet.

      • Expendable Henchmen,

        There are around 80-90 million legal gun owners in the United States. The military as a whole will never do what you think they would. What does that leave the Feds? A few hundred thousand Federal agents. How many of those will participate? I’m betting not as many as you believe.

        All it takes is one man to shut down a city. See the D.C. sniper for that.

        We are not outnumbered. They are.

      • Yep. So, Expendable Henchman, the reason they act this way is the reson despots all over act in such ways … They live in fear of the ‘proles’ (both on our side and on theirs) realizing the true reality.

      • So, exactly how does that theory hold up in Afghanistan?

        All those soldiers and tanks and planes and drones and NSA soopersekret tech, all being screwed up by a few intractable a-holes with rifles …

      • I wrote about this in my big gun control essay.

        And don’t forget who builds the drones, drives the drones, services the drones, and designs the drones. Because guess what? Republicans don’t usually win the military vote by 40 points because the military industrial complex is so stuffed full of liberals.

      • Expendable Henchman,

        The government is only ever a fraction of the population. And never a monolithic entity. As others have pointed out, not everybody is going to toe the “suppress the people” line if the violence starts. They only ever win if we LET them.

        Mr. Correia’s point is also of profound note. Elites tend to forget who’s handling the details. Such as…cooking dinner.

      • Just remember Mr. Henchmen they may have the drones But do they have the pilots or are sociopathic (they have the Feels you know and I am an evil reptilian capitalist (-<) enough to use "leverage" on those pilots?

    • But LIKE being a evil reptilian capitalist.

  10. “Because the Tea Party is made up of people who can do math.”

    🙂

    Love it. Didn’t somebody do some studies a while back that showed that gun owners on average tended to be more successful and a have higher degree of education on average?

    lwk

    • Don’t know, but gun owners (on average) have to be more wealthy than the majority or they couldn’t afford the guns. Based on this, I would assume that the ownership of a gun generally equates to “more successful with a higher degree of education.”

  11. And remember, bullying is bad.. unless your target is conservative.p

  12. Do you think that if we put this on kickstarter that we could raise the funds to commission that study? Or maybe we have a grad student in the readership looking for a thesis topic?

    • I’m a grad student – Econ master’s program – but I’m not on a thesis track, and (mercifully) done with the program’s econometrics portion.

      This study sounds suspiciously like something forced his hand so that he couldn’t avoid reporting his results, even though they ran so dramatically against his expectations.

      Also, don’t let the article’s quote fool you: despite his findings, he still thinks conservatives as a whole are deplorable know-nothings and that the Tea Party is politically and “morally” wrong. The extent of his change of outlook is that he will be less surprised to find himself enjoying the same science museum exhibits as a Tea Party member.

  13. In the biological sciences it will get mushy. There are those who are ardent Anthropogenic Climate Change backers, and there are those who aren’t. Depends on what they’re studying, and who they’re seeking funding from.

    In my research, I have come to the conlusion that much of Nature’s motto is, “Screw you, I’m adapting!”.

  14. Rocket Scientist here and proud Tea Party Supporter. Well at least my degree is in Aerospace Engineering even though I now mostly focus on the manufacture of miniature medical device components (tolerances in the microns). I am though regularly accused of being a slack jawed idiot by those liberals who are horrified by my right wing leanings and figure I must just be brainwashed and spoiled even though I am the son of a first generation Irish American union construction worker.

  15. Really enjoyed your visit to Huntspatch as we local knuckle draggers call it. I do offer apologies as so many of us kept running you off your intended topic of SF writing and into the weeds on gun bunny stuff.
    Should have worn my t-shirt that states quite honestly: “Well, yes, in fact I am a rocket scientist!” directly under the equation for specific impulse. My background was primarily payload operations for experiments flown on the Shuttle, ISS, Mir, and the design of future lunar and Mars missions.

  16. From the mush basket weaving education, I’m also in my mid-twenties, am a minority, and studied in a school that had an active remake of the SDS.

    I also had a mom who is a Democrat and several relatives who are Obama supporters.

    Yet…I grew up conservative.

    If only I could have you listen to the brains of some of my peers during the 2007-2008 semesters. I smiled as they tried to process that and merely piled insult after insult at me.

    • “I also had a mom who is a Democrat and several relatives who are Obama supporters.”

      I have had a similar problem in my family, although my mom is not a Demoncrat. That is what I call them, Demon-crats. 🙂

      lwk

      • A holdover no doubt from when she was a vocal critic during the Marcos era in the Philippines. But at the same time, she’s the main accountant if you will, of the family finances.

        She’s still a Democrat, she says, but she’s been voting Republican lately.

      • Jusuchin, I know a number of people who still consider themselves closer to the old Democrats than to the current Republicans. They tend to vote Republican or libertarian (local issue elections). Your Mom’s in good company.

    • My little sister, for reasons I will never comprehend, decided to go for a Social Work degree. Thankfully, she’s a strong conservative, but the stories she tells about her peers… I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

  17. I don’t know a single person who identifies with the Tea Party

    Dan Kahan, meet Pauline Kael. Pauline Kael, meet Dan Kahan.

    You might try getting out more, Dan Kahan. Just make sure your shots are up to date and your passport and visas are valid before you cross the Appalachians.

  18. The Tea Party is made up of people who can do math.

    Particularly subtraction.

    “The 16-day shutdown of the federal government cost the U.S. economy billions of dollars in lost economic activity, from an idle district, to lost personal income and higher interest payments. But exactly how many billions did it cost?

    Counter-factual accounting is guess-work by definition, but a few research firms have tried to attach a number to the shutdown. Macroeconomic Advisers put the figure at $12 billion. S&P estimate the cost was twice as high, at $24 billion. Split the difference, and you’re talking about $18 billion in lost work.

    What’s a good way to think about that kind of money—a sliver of the entire $15 trillion U.S. economy, but still, you know, $18 billion? In July this year, NASA funding was approved at around $17 billion for the fiscal year. So, there: The shutdown took a NASA-sized bite out of the U.S. economy.

    But that’s just a nibble compared to the total cost of the budget showdowns stretching back to 2010. According to Macroeconomic Advisers, the total cost of Congress’s assault on the economy going back to 2010—including the budget cuts, including sequestration, and fights around the budget cuts—was about 3 percent of our entire economy. That’s $700 billion. That’s not just NASA. It’s one year’s entire defense budget.

    According to the report, discretional spending cuts removed 1.2 million jobs from the economy, while policy uncertainty, graphed below by the New York Times, cost another 900,000. Two-plus million net new workers is 12 typical months of job creation. So, if the recession delivered a loss decade, Congress has delivered a lost year.”

    The Atlantic

    • Fascinating. You mean the Atlantic assumes that government taxing and spending grows the economy, yet the government taking that money from the free market does not shrink the economy? Wow. Yeah. Economists are all totally in agreement on that topic and haven’t been arguing about it for the last hundred years.

      So, if you give the government less money, then millions of government jobs will cease to exist… (which is really sort of ironic since our government is absofrigginlutely huge and constantly expanding) But the private sector (who gets to keep their tax money) isn’t going to do anything with that money? Like spend it? Or use it to grow their own businesses?

      Because of course, the economy can only expand by taking money from the people who earn it, running it through hundreds of layers of bureacracy, and then spending it on important things, like barricades or ACORN. Because efficiency.

      Of course ever time an economist writes a paper or makes a statement that agrees with leftist philosophy there is going to be lots of articles about it. 600+ economists disagree… crickets. (and I’ve posted about those guys a few times now).

  19. The problem might be that we tend to define ‘intelligent’ as people who think the same way we do.

  20. The Tea Party is not homogenous. Rand Paul and Sarah Palin are distinct from each other and have advocated different policy positions while claiming to represent the TP wing of the Republican party.

    Similarly, there are people who identify as conservative who hold anti science beliefs associated with creation science. The public debate in TX over the inclusion of this topic alongside (and as an equivalent theory to) evolution is an example. These representatives of the TP, even if outliers, provide fuel for the characterization of any conservative as anti science and therefore ‘stupid’. The national impact that TX has on the textbook market makes this a national event, which in turn makes the views of these conservatives (creation science advocates who are religious, political conservatives). a national story.

    • What Tea Party members are a part of the organization that chooses text books and wants to include creationism in science text books?

      • Hi Joe – sorry for the tardy reply. The best example of a high profile TP politician who is on the record as supporting a creationist position and rejecting Darwinist evolutionary theory is Sarah Palin.

        In her biography, Going Rogue, there is a quoted conversation between SP and her handlers – I’ll paraphrase: “I buy into pieces of the evolutionary theory, but people did not evolve from single celled life – God created us.” This is consistent with the logic that represents the ‘intelligent design’ side of creationist thought – vice the ‘young earth’ side which argues that the geologic age of the earth is less than 10k years.

  21. Your whole commentary is hinged on the assumption that science = good policy. I have spoken to plenty of engineers, rocket scientist and highly educated people who have such a strong God complex, that they overlook small, commonsense details. Now I’m not saying that everyone who is “smart” is like this, but your argument about education level and political relevance is weak.

    Fun read nonetheless!

    #thanksobama!

    • Well that argument would be weak, if it was one that I’ve ever made, but it is not, so yay.

      Yes, because ignorance is awesome for policy decisions. Which is why I’m having such a good time over the last couple of weeks watching Obamacare cheerleaders having come aparts as they find out that it actually costs them more money.

      I never, ever, in a million years or ten thousand blog posts have ever, or will ever say that “education level” means you have more political acumen. That’s utter bullshit, but thanks for trying to restate what I said into an easily managable chunk of straw.

      Education is not intelligence. There are plenty of PhDs in cismale gendernormative basketweaving, and you’ve got to be dumb as hell to spend a hundred grand on a degree that qualifies you to be a barrista at Starbucks. Going to college for more years doesn’t mean you’re intelligent, it just means you went to college longer. And I think most of college is useless hoops you jump through in order to get a piece of paper that says “I jumped through these hoops, please give me a job!”

      Try again.

      #obamalicksballs!

    • No one has a bigger “god complex” than some know-it-all leftist political science major.

      No one.

    • Science trumps feels. Operating by Feels is like gambling with no information like closing your eyes and playing a hand of poker blind folded). Science is gambling with imperfect information (knowing the cards at the flop the turn and the river giving you slightly more information) While chance/chaos still will rule the day (you can still lose the hand Unless you got 4 aces and a king as a hole card) but you can nail down a lot more variables. Thus giving a higher probability of correct result.

    • Mike, your commen is hinged on the assumption that the Tea Party is about better/different government policy and better/different government programs. Common misconceptions among liberals, who assume all things flow from government. Because you are bad at math, and don’t get that government does not make things.

      The Tea Party is about -less- government. Fewer programs being delivered to less people for shorter periods of time. Budgets being actually reduced in size downward, not having their rate of increase slowed for a couple of cycles.

      This is because people who join the Tea Party do so having done the simple arithmatic that shows societal colapse coming in a few more years if government keeps expanding.

  22. “””
    The second reason we’re anti-science is that people on my side overwhelmingly tend to dislike abortion. Of course you can’t hold a belief that goes against proper liberal groupthink and not be a moron!
    “””

    I’ve never heard this. In fact I’d go so far as to say it’s an unfair mischaracterization.

    Progressives believe (not think) we are anti-science for everything from denying big and little E evolution (which is far, a good number of Americans on the conservative side *do* deny evolution when they are in places where they are safe to do so), to our refusal to accept Catastrophic Anthroprogenic Global Warming^h^h^h^h^h^h^h Climate Change. Since these things are the “consensus” view and we refuse to accept them, we’re scientific illiterates.

    Because “we” (well some of “us”) are opposed to using fetal tissue from elective abortions for research we are “opposed to science” (never mind that the actions by the Bush Administration were the first funding for stem cell research, and that research on adult pluripotent stem cells was not restricted in the slightest, and that research on fetal stem cells NOT supported by government grants were still legal etc. etc. etc.)

    So while the Left has a often spurious reasons to question Conservative positions on science I don’t see it generally as being an issue of conservative opposition to abortion.

    • “Of course you can’t hold a belief that goes against proper liberal groupthink and not be a moron!”

      This part is right out of the progressive movement. If only the intelligent people were in charge…and since only intelligent people are progressive….that means that non-progressives MUST be too stupid to be in charge.

    • Mischaracterization? Then you must not follow me on Facebook. You should watch some of those arguments. They’re hilarious. 🙂

      • I’ve been arguing with twits on the internet since 1994. I quit last year. It’s like trying to clean the Aegean stables without removing the cattle and with no river nearby.

        And without letting the cattle out.

        These days I use facebook to chat with my daughter and watch a friend slowly die from MS. Other than that, and a few organizations that refuse to publish information other ways, I basically avoid it. I have much better things to do with my time, ranging from a 6 year old to dead lifts to CivII. Oh, and guns.

        Note also that I’m narrowly restricting my argument to “conservatives are anti-science because Abortion!”. If that was shorthand for something else I retract my objection.

  23. Master’s in electrical and computer engineering here. I would bet my salary that any given engineering office has more than 75% conservative / libertarian leaning employees. And that a coming from a guy that is working in Massachusetts!

    • Hate to say it, Adam, but I’d happily take that bet. I work in Washington state and I’d bet my salary we don’t top 50%, much less 75%; though I’m equally sure my office has a much higher percentage of conservatives than the area as a whole. BS MechE here, BTW.

    • Bachelor’s in physics and master’s in nuclear engineering here. I work around 120 other engineers and would guess that about 85% of them are libertarian and/or conservative. The leftists here tend to amaze me. It’s not easy to ground yourself in logic, facts and reason in your job, yet be completely incapable of doing the same out in the world.

  24. Plasma physics/electric propulsion PhD in training here. It’s nice to hear it considered, after dedicating a good portion of my life to figuring out bleeding edge engineering and physics, that I might not be a drooling moron because I also happen to know a bit about how banking and economics work.

  25. One of the greatest conceits of liberalism is that if you are educated then you must be liberal. Because, if you were smart then there is no way you could disagree with smart people, so instead you’d have to agree with them. Thereby, you are intelligent by association with people who went to college for ten years and now teach at a college by agreeing with them.

    It’s so mind-blowing that taking someone else’s word (and someone with a huge agenda at that) for something that one has no personal knowledge of is a sure way to be misled is somehow news to this doof. And this guy trades the things he believes to be fact to other people for money. Imagine paying the interest every year on money you borrowed and gave to this pin head. That’s gotta suck.

    • Look up “The Frankfort School”.

      This was a group of Marxists that fled Hitler, and started the Marxist push into academia in the US.

      They figured out that big money capitalists are not going to mistreat workers enough anymore to make a proletarian revolution possible … so they need to infiltrate academia, and do to college students what Hitler did to German youth.

      Academia has been brainwashed. They really believe that non-Marxists are either stupid or evil.

  26. It’s very frustrating to be a conservative sympathizer pursuing a master’s at an art school, where every student and faculty member and guest artist talks about your political leanings like you’re a moron. (But I know you get that in SFF/literature, too.) It’s nice to be reminded that we’re not as stupid as people think we are.

  27. Network engineer here. I know people smarter than me who take both sides of pretty much every political issue.

    I would say that the folks I know in engineering tend to lean rightward (at least fiscally if not socially) – a bunch of them would be more accurately described as libertarian rather than conservative.

  28. Librarian here. The older I get, the more conservative (classic, pre-Wilsonian Liberal) I become. Paleo-con per this chart: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v99/smallestminority/thelines.jpg

    I’ve realized that the more I consider the 2nd order consequences of the Progressive dogma that I was steeped in as a child (latch-key kid, TV was my window to the world) the more the old-fashioned ideals make sense, both financial and social. I still waver between labeling myself Libertarian or Conservative, but it’s almost a matter of which way the wind blows anymore.

  29. I spent 11 years at two different “institutes of technology” and I an can assure you, most Science and Engineering Profs are conservative, at least politically/economically conservative.

    I believe this comes directly from the labor theory of value. Earning a PhD is hard, it takes a lot of time, and in the years you spend earning it, you don’t make much money. For people who get their PhD’s in liberal arts, there is not much in the way of a job market for them. If you are lucky, you can find a professorship or curator position and have to fight/beg for research funding. You put in a lot of effort earning an advanced degree (labor) and get very little pay as a result (low value). This is the corner stone of Marxism: hard work for little return leads to a socialist revolution and Communism. Liberal arts profs are essentially the academic economic equivalent of unskilled labor, which is why liberal academics always champion “the poor, downtrodden worker.”

    [Many] Science and engineering profs are conservative for exactly the same reason. You come out of school with a PhD in engineering and there is a whole world of industry research jobs willing to pay you quite a lot for your expertise. Unlike other fields, a PhD in engineering will net you a greater salary then a BS or MS. The effort put into a technical PhD will come with a big financial reward. This is a hallmark of capitalism: work hard, invest in yourself, and you can make a lot of money.

  30. Being a leftie, I’ve never once heard anyone characterize opposition to abortion as being “anti-science,” unless you think that any rejection of a political belief which stems from religious conviction is accusing you of being “anti-science.” The “anti-science” that I’ve heard complaints about is generally 1. the religious right’s continued attempts to teach creationism or some euphemistically named equivalent; 2. climate change (even the American Association of Petroleum Geologists is open to the idea that it’s a reality at this point; I’m not a climate scientist, so I’ll just assume that the 97% of publishing climatologists and 78-90% of every other category of scientists [http://tigger.uic.edu/~pdoran/012009_Doran_final.pdf] probably know what they’re talking about); and 3. general anti-intellectualism (e.g. Rick Santorum claiming that wanting everyone to go to college means Obama is a “snob,” claims of “liberal indoctrination” at all institutes of higher learning [despite many of the people above this post showing that it’s apparently possible to attend college and not come out parroting Marx], the aforementioned Texas textbook publishers). Granted, the Tea Party may differ from the main conservative base on some of these, but they do affect the mainstream of conservative politics.

    • This is a case of the left building a strawman and setting fire to it, Nick.

      Only 9% of the people in this country go to church regularly. 9%.

      The TEA in TEA Party stands for Taxed Enough Already. The TEA Party movement is about:

      Lowering Taxes
      Decreasing the size of government
      Returning to Constitutional Laws

      Nothing else, Nick. Yes, some religious folks join the TEA Party, and some of them pimp excessive religion. But these people only speak for themselves, and not the TEA Party as a whole.

      • Do you have a link to that stat? All the studies I could find ranged from 25-50%.

        As for whether those kinds of people join the Tea Party, the public faces of the movement are Sarah Palin (who wants to teach creationism in schools), Michelle Bachmann (who believes evolution to be highly disputed in scientific circles), Todd Akin (who was a member of the Tea Party Caucus when he talked about how women’s bodies have some magical method to shut down their uterus upon being raped), etc. Now, you may claim that they “don’t speak for the Tea Party,” but if we’re going to discuss who’s building logical fallacies I suspect you look up “no true Scotsman.”

      • Two can play that game, Nick.

        Would you like me to start listing complete lunatics in the Democratic Party, and pointing at them as representatives of your side?

  31. Hold on there Larry. Kids really are parasites. Before they are born and LONG after they moved out of the house. I’m 34 years old and still have to have my folks bail me out occasionally (THANKS FOR THE HELP WITH THE WATER HEATER DAD!) Kids just happen to be particularly cute parasites (Okay some kids are cute parasites others not so much my mother claims I look more like an monkey or a mutant gorilla)

  32. This made me laugh. I just started listening to the audiobook of GHI, and I thought all the pro-gun stuff was interesting, then I read someone’s comment on goodreads regarding your blog, which consisted of “O_O” so of course I had to come check it out. Cool to see some conservative, gun-toting urban fantasy (even if, as a woman, I can’t get 100% behind the ‘all women worth mentioning are beautiful and sexy’ vibe, though the male version of that is usually found in female-aimed books, so I suppose fair’s fair).

  33. To me, the anti-science thing is really about:

    1) Evolution. My well-educated religious friends have often tried to convince me about intelligent design, which no serious biologist considers a legitimate theory.

    2) A lack of trust in “experts.” Modern educated liberals are very big on expertise, and putting those experts in charge of everything. That’s the core difference in thought – they say government, and they think of a panel of subject matter experts who can make quantifiably better decisions than people who have not made the same study. We see a bunch of people with very different priorities than the people for whom they are making decisions.

    Unfortunately, sometimes this comes across as a general disrespect for high education in general.

    The climate change debate has never been about science – it’s been about mother gaia and white guilt versus human progress. Even if we consider that the science is very settled *now*, it was not settled clearly ten years ago when everyone made up their minds on the issue.

    • “My well-educated religious friends have often tried to convince me about intelligent design, which no serious biologist considers a legitimate theory.”

      Have you ever read anything by the late Sir Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe? If you are up to the math in some of those books he might at least make a dent in the idea of a non-designed random universe. 🙂

      regards,

      lwk

    • “Modern educated liberals are very big on expertise, and putting those experts in charge of everything. That’s the core difference in thought – they say government, and they think of a panel of subject matter experts who can make quantifiably better decisions than people who have not made the same study. We see a bunch of people with very different priorities than the people for whom they are making decisions.”

      Real freedom is being able to make decisions for yourself and then being responsible for the consequences. Those who want to put experts (SMEs) in charge of other people’s decisions are not for freedom.

      We have any number of examples where the experts and authorities made huge mistakes. We are witnessing one right now – the failure of the government websites for Obamacare (or the former Soviet Union’s 5 Year Plans). If a man makes a mistake then he and perhaps some close to him suffer the consequences. When a panel of SMEs in charge of the economy of a country make a mistake millions suffer.

      Ever notice that politicians don’t usually want to accept responsibility for their mistakes? No, they just craft a bigger and even more unworkable solution to fix the problem they mostly created in the first place.

      Real enduring prosperity and human progress comes from freeing the individual. Capitalism and the prosperity we have inherited from the past witness to that. But you can only live so long on the moral capital of the past.

      regards,

      lwk

    • “[Climate Change or Global Warming] was not settled clearly ten years ago when everyone made up their minds on the issue.”

      It is not settled now. No one can author a computer program today that accurately predicts the weather very far out. Climate changes and shit happens. That has been going on since the planet came into existence. The evidence of fraud and disinformation coming from prominent advocates of Climate Change ought to inspire some distrust of government financed experts.

      regards,

      lwk

  34. Hey Larry, you still following this post of yours? I had a question that has little to do with your topic and lots to do with your delivery. In this one you…almost…sound like you are teasing the New York Times for whatever perceived biases and leanings they might have. However, you have repeatedly flaunted your New-York-Times-best-sellership in previous posts as a medal of fortitude. The question then must be this: Did you mean to disrespect the medal givers? You know if you admit to it then it may only be a matter of time before they rip your medals off your shirt and send you to the bilges. Which, these days, means you’ll be working for a newspaper…maybe even the New York Times.

    • Almost? Hell, NYT reporting is so biased that they don’t even know they are biased. As far as reporting with any accuracy, HA! Holy crap. You’re kidding, right? They’re not just inaccurate, but the farther the story gets from Manhattan the more ridiculous their understanding of the topic becomes.

      I flaunt the NYT bestseller status because it is considered prestigious in my industry. And people who don’t know any better have still heard of that and know it means you’re very successful. Like winning an Oscar or Billboard Top 40 or whatever the big name thing is in that industry. But the NYTBSL isn’t even that accurate, since it is based on about a hundred secret bookstores reporting what they sold that week to the NYT, and a disproportionate number of those stores are around New York. I’ve made the Nielsen Boookscan bestseller list a bunch more times and have stayed on it for months at a time, and Nielsen is far more accurate, as it accounts for about 70% of the booksellers in America. But outside of the publishing industry, regular people haven’t heard of Nielsen Bookscan, so I say NYT bestseller.

      • Wow, I had to scroll down really far to read this, and yet it was well worth it. I honestly have never heard of Nielsen Bookscan (’til today). Thanks for the info. That’s cool to know. I bet there is a way to discover which bookstores are the secret bookstores. Maybe Martha Stewart knows. Finding those might be like insider trading news, eh? And lastly, thanks for taking my jab at you lightly, it was meant to be taken that way (next time though…watch out).

      • Thanks for the steer to Nielsen list. NYTBSL is so much cr*p. SMOFs buy into that, ’nuff said.

  35. […] (Via Monster Hunter Nation.) […]

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