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  1. #151
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    I think they're talking about objectivity. You can teach someone that 1+1=2 without ever delving into things like politics. It's impossible to teach history in such a way.

    What it comes down to is that some people have a problem with the personal opinions of some teachers (who I would agree tend to be more liberal than the rest of the population), so they want to sanitize the message of these teachers so that it is devoid of any personal opinions. I don't think that is possible, outside of the hard sciences.
    That sounds reasonable. My background is science with only a few psych and sociology classes (which seemed pretty neutral to me politics-wise, fwiw), so I don't know much about what's taught in history/etc.
    -end of thread-

  2. #152
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post
    I'd still like to know what exactly all this bias entails, if you could elaborate. What is the experience of these students? What do the profs say and do that screams bias?

    Very few institutions and almost no people are unbiased, but that is very different from actually teaching or "brainwashing" biased politics.
    My Kool-Aid comments don't really apply to the curriculum itself. I mean it does have a liberal bias (particularly in the Arts and Social Sciences), but Kool-Aid comment has more to do with the university culture itself. Quite a few people totally believe in both the University and its culture. For example one year many of us were refused a cost of living adjustment to our salary due to budget cuts. The next day I got a letter in my mailbox asking me to donate money to the university. "No I'm your employee, I want you to raise my salary and not take some back." But there are people who would give back, because they are not earning a living. Instead they are sacrificing their life for the cause of the university. That is the type of mentality I am talking about.

    Similarly there is the thinking that all people would be better off going to college. The idea that someone would be better off not going to a university is unfathomable to some. And when it comes time to cut something from the gen. ed. curriculum the main choices are between public speaking and physical education rather than a more traditional academic subject. Never mind that public speaking and physical education are probably the two most practical gen. ed. courses in the curriculum.

    And then the culture itself is thoroughly liberal. If you see a university play then at best it will be a neutral subject from some long dead playwrite. Otherwise it will have a message that is pro-communist, pro-gay marriage, anti-religious, or something else with an obvious liberal message. All of the guest lectures are either from a liberal perspective or at best neutral. I've never seen a conservative guest lecturer.

    And keep in mind when I say this that I am actually on the left politically. I actually enjoy those pro-commie plays. Someone who is actually conservative would probably notice more than I do. But to me it's pretty obvious that the whole culture is thoroughly liberal. And there are some that think the whole world should be that way. That is the Kool-Aid that I'm speaking of.
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  3. #153
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    My Kool-Aid comments don't really apply to the curriculum itself. I mean it does have a liberal bias (particularly in the Arts and Social Sciences), but Kool-Aid comment has more to do with the university culture itself. Quite a few people totally believe in both the University and its culture. For example one year many of us were refused a cost of living adjustment to our salary due to budget cuts. The next day I got a letter in my mailbox asking me to donate money to the university. "No I'm your employee, I want you to raise my salary and not take some back." But there are people who would give back, because they are not earning a living. Instead they are sacrificing their life for the cause of the university. That is the type of mentality I am talking about.

    Similarly there is the thinking that all people would be better off going to college. The idea that someone would be better off not going to a university is unfathomable to some. And when it comes time to cut something from the gen. ed. curriculum the main choices are between public speaking and physical education rather than a more traditional academic subject. Never mind that public speaking and physical education are probably the two most practical gen. ed. courses in the curriculum.

    And then the culture itself is thoroughly liberal. If you see a university play then at best it will be a neutral subject from some long dead playwrite. Otherwise it will have a message that is pro-communist, pro-gay marriage, anti-religious, or something else with an obvious liberal message. All of the guest lectures are either from a liberal perspective or at best neutral. I've never seen a conservative guest lecturer.

    And keep in mind when I say this that I am actually on the left politically. I actually enjoy those pro-commie plays. Someone who is actually conservative would probably notice more than I do. But to me it's pretty obvious that the whole culture is thoroughly liberal. And there are some that think the whole world should be that way. That is the Kool-Aid that I'm speaking of.
    ohhh. Interesting. I don't know anything about my university's culture, other than it being being quebecois. That sounds.....frightening.

    I get the memos about donating to my work too, actually. I'm a starving student at a hospital. I guess those are probably aimed more at "real people", though.

    I agree with you on the promoting university thing. For one thing, many jobs that used to require only high school now require a degree, and many that used to require a bachelor now need a masters, and so on. For another, skilled labour (called colleges, here - maybe they're called trade schools there?) heavily promotes themselves since high schools tend to teach the kids "if you're smart enough, you go to university" and the "smart enough" is only something like a B average, so pretty much everyone goes. Because everyone else is now educated, you need MORE education to compete. I think both these trends are damaging, but what are you going to do?
    -end of thread-

  4. #154
    Was E.laur Laurie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    And keep in mind when I say this that I am actually on the left politically. I actually enjoy those pro-commie plays. Someone who is actually conservative would probably notice more than I do. But to me it's pretty obvious that the whole culture is thoroughly liberal. And there are some that think the whole world should be that way. That is the Kool-Aid that I'm speaking of.
    I used to figure that people could spot bias even when it was toward themselves but realized they usually don't. I finally gave up on expecting it.

    It is interesting to me that oftentimes the people who don't see political bias can see gender bias. Although I guess they still don't see gender bias that is helpful to them.

  5. #155
    lab rat extraordinaire CrystalViolet's Avatar
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    The study, I won't comment on, it's flawed to the core.
    I do think there is a bias in higher education, You do have to "think" the right way. I don't necessairly think it's even to do with political bias.
    I believe it's present in the harder sciences as well, however my experiences are mainly in the biological sciences where theories and studies can be still be openly disputed.
    People are encouraged to regurge verbatim, rather than put their own personal spins. I went to class with people who could tell me what page a particular diagram was on, but not the principle behind the diagram.
    People learn to parrot, but they did not truly learn to think. I think however, fault lies with some of the lecturers, they do tend to be a bit one eyed about pet theories too, and think way too linearly. Lets be honest, linear thought processes are more desirable in the real world.
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  6. #156
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrystalViolet View Post
    The study, I won't comment on, it's flawed to the core.
    I do think there is a bias in higher education, You do have to "think" the right way. I don't necessairly think it's even to do with political bias.
    I believe it's present in the harder sciences as well, however my experiences are mainly in the biological sciences where theories and studies can be still be openly disputed.
    People are encouraged to regurge verbatim, rather than put their own personal spins. I went to class with people who could tell me what page a particular diagram was on, but not the principle behind the diagram.
    People learn to parrot, but they did not truly learn to think. I think however, fault lies with some of the lecturers, they do tend to be a bit one eyed about pet theories too, and think way too linearly. Lets be honest, linear thought processes are more desirable in the real world.
    I wouldn't be surprised if those who self-identify as "liberal" or "very liberal" have higher IQ's (childhood or adult) than those who self-identify as "conservative" or "very conservative." The problem with this study is that, as you say, the PREMISE is completely flawed. It's one of the shoddiest I've ever seen, but, then again, Psychology Today is not a peer-reviewed journal. It's waiting room fodder, the Men's Fitness Journal of mental health.

    This is the problem: "It is difficult to define a whole school of political ideology precisely, but one may reasonably define liberalism (as opposed to conservatism) in the contemporary United States as the genuine concern for the welfare of genetically unrelated others and the willingness to contribute larger proportions of private resources for the welfare of such others. In the modern political and economic context, this willingness usually translates into paying higher proportions of individual incomes in taxes toward the government and its social welfare programs. Liberals usually support such social welfare programs and higher taxes to finance them, and conservatives usually oppose them."

    AND this: "The primary means that citizens of capitalist democracies contribute their private resources for the welfare of the genetically unrelated others is paying taxes to the government for its social welfare programs. The fact that conservatives have been shown to give more money to charities than liberals is not inconsistent with the prediction from the Hypothesis; in fact, it supports the prediction. Individuals can normally choose and select the beneficiaries of their charity donations. For example, they can choose to give money to the victims of the earthquake in Haiti, because they want to help them, but not to give money to the victims of the earthquake in Chile, because they don’t want to help them. In contrast, citizens do not have any control over whom the money they pay in taxes benefit. They cannot individually choose to pay taxes to fund Medicare, because they want to help elderly white people, but not AFDC, because they don’t want to help poor black single mothers. This may precisely be why conservatives choose to give more money to individual charities of their choice while opposing higher taxes."

    This is, of course, nonsense. The link between "intelligence" and "wanting to help those you don't know" is tenuous, at best. Assuming it is valid, the propensity for conservatives to donate more than liberals is absolutely NOT explained away by their choosing which charities to fund. That would only make any sense at all if the conservatives were donating to those with whom they have some type of close kinship, which the author provides no evidence to suggest. Moreover, he never entertains the possibility that a conservative might donate to charity because A) it helps to lower his or her tax burden (which is completely rational and intelligent); and B) he or she may know that the charity of choice is more efficient or effective at truly helping those in need than the government is, which is often the case.

    Also, the working definition of "liberal" and "conservative" are NOT provided by those who self-identify. It's a GIGANTIC leap to assume that those studied all meant "I am a liberal, because I support greater government expenditures on programs for the indigent." It's just as likely that they meant "I am a liberal, because I am an agnostic/atheist, I believe that humans cause some level of global warming/climate change, and I support abortion choice and gay marriage." That would have nothing whatsoever to do with spending more money on entitlement programs and be just as valid a definition. It's easy to use statistics to prove a point when you get to define the terms to suit your own ends. I wouldn't expect better from Satoshi Kanazawa, though. Have you seen some of what this guy has written, and what some peers have said about him?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satoshi_Kanazawa

    Commenting on the War on Terror, Kanazawa claimed that "there is one resource that our enemies have in abundance but we don’t: hate. Hatred of enemies has always been a proximate emotional motive for war throughout human evolutionary history." He then offers the following thought experiment: "Imagine that, on September 11, 2001, when the Twin Towers came down, the President of the United States was not George W. Bush, but Ann Coulter. What would have happened then? On September 12, President Coulter would have ordered the US military forces to drop 35 nuclear bombs throughout the Middle East, killing all of our actual and potential enemy combatants, and their wives and children. On September 13, the war would have been over and won, without a single American life lost. Yes, we need a woman in the White House, but not the one who’s running (Hillary Clinton, ed.)".[12]
    [edit]Controversy over race and intelligence

    Kanazawa's theories on race and intelligence are controversial. Kanazawa has argued that Asian cultural traditions and/or character inhibit Asian scientific creativity[13] and that "political correctness" is a bigger threat to American evolutionary psychology than religious fundamentalism.[14] As a result, he has been accused of promoting "racist stereotypes".[15] In 2006 Kanazawa published a controversial paper suggesting that poor health of people in some nations is the result, not of poverty, but rather lower IQ.[16][17] In the British Journal of Health Psychology George T. H. Ellison wrote that the theory is based on flawed assumptions, questionable data, inappropriate analyses and biased interpretations. Ellison wrote that Kanazawa mistook statistical associations for evidence of causality and falsely concluded that populations in sub-Saharan Africa are less healthy because they are unintelligent and not because they are poor.[18] Kevin Denny wrote similar criticisms regarding the IQ data and stated that African Americans should have similar IQs when compared to the sub-Saharan African population and that Kanazawa should have measured the distance between areas in a topographical fashion.[19] P.Z. Myers, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Minnesota, has called Kanazawa "the great idiot of social science."
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  7. #157
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Psychology Today is not a peer-reviewed journal.
    oh....that explains a lot.
    -end of thread-

  8. #158
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    This article reminded me of this derailed thread:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/08/sc...=3&ref=science

  9. #159
    The Eighth Colour Octarine's Avatar
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    The fallacy in the above is reducing ones world-view to a binary choice.

  10. #160
    Certified Sausage Smoker Elfboy's Avatar
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    they should do a study like this of libertarians and how they tested as children. I bet the average IQ would be like 120 (yes, I'm biased as hell lol)

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