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March 31, 2005



This is an example of why, in the end, it doesn't pay to try to have a conversation with wingnuts. For there to be a conversation, both sides have to be willing to exchange ideas and at least consider that the opposition might have something meaningful to say.

Wingnuts--of whatever political persuasion--don't do that. They either a) distort what you've said so painfully that it bears no resemblance to reality and then attack that or b) make shit up and claim you said it and then attack it.

The worst part of is that there's actually a conversation to be had on this subject, and it centers around whether or not a preponderant political viewpoint among professors across the intellectual spectrum somehow becomes an institutional bias toward that political viewpoint. That's what was being discussed in the comments below. But this wingnut? He/She doesn't want to be part of a conversation--he/she wants to set up little straw men and knock them over.


Isn't this what all the religious right do in spades?

...there is some ideal vantage point from which observers can claim a hold on Truth

On the fake debate thing, what I've found is that people resort to a fake debate when they figure they can't win any other way. That might be because their argument is wrong or it might be because they personally are not competent to argue their case - which often happens when repeating someone else's talking points.

People on the left do it too (mostly on so-called women's issues but also when defending Democrats' foreign policy or US mythology) but the right seem to make a virtue out of it. Understanding an issue just isn't what they do. Knowledge for them is based on loyalty to the tribe and not on rationality or analysis.

I assume this guy Paul is saying this stuff for no other reason than he thinks his tribe is putting it out there. He has no concept of whether it makes sense -- that just isn't important. Debate isn't a testing of a hypothesis but propagation of talking points by repetition and endorsement.

To circumvent such a pattern of behaviour --- and you seem to want to talk to the animals as it were --- you must approach a topic in such a way as not to set off the tribal alarm bells. Don't approach the Republican talking about an issue of current debate for example or you will always get the approved text. If you can make them think there's no approved text by raising the issue in different way you might get somewhere..... at least until you wander into the area of a recognised issue and then they will flatly contradict any concession you might have got from them.

It's just a different way of doing truth. To a Republican truth is what you are told by an authority figure --- not what makes sense.


Mike and Company
Your ignoring the fact that the original Kurtz piece was based on a study.
I wish someone had a link to the original study but I can’t find one.
There may be facets to the argument that you find “fake” but I believe you have conceded the central thesis (one the conservatives most interested in making)
That University faculties are overwhelmingly skewed to the left.

Now why that is the case is an interesting discussion & one I have a number of ideas about. But are you conceding the point?


I think the point that leaped out at me was that Republicans are only good enough for backwater teaching assignments. I happen to believe it is because stupid people tend to favor simplistic ideologies llike conservatism because they are incapable of relating to a more complicated frame of reference. The Republican party is the dust bin of politics.

I find the notion of a burgeoning 'conservative' bent is evidence of a generalized decline in intelligence in the US brought on by environmental contamination and consumerism combined with a plethora of food additives and pharmaceuticals. Oh yes do not forget the tremendous stress that pregnant mothers experience while laboring under the discrimination and prejudice of patriarchy and the resultant brain damage to the fetus from the excessive leves of hydrocortisol in her blood.

Then there is always the devolution theorem, which goes something like this: Invent eye glasses and people with defective vision will be more successful breeders, causing a generalized devolution of eyesight. It is also my belief that all of the technological and fossil fuel based solutions we have implemented are making it possible for ever more dumb people to wield excessive power and reproduce more often, causing a generalized devolution in intelligence.

This trend will halt once fossil fuels are scarce. Maybe then we will all wake up and start demanding excellence in our lives. Maybe not.

I know that these views are unpopular even among the left but what can I say except that the evidence is there if you look for it. Try it some day. Find out what the real difference is between liberal and conservative.


I'd venture to say that if a survey of corporate CEOs, lawyers, or preachers was performed, you would find the vast majority are conservatives. Does this mean they're biased? Shouldn't we root out their bias as well?


Simplistic definition of liberal..informed person ready to question a priori assumptions. Simplistic defintion of conservative...religiously motivated worrier. crux of problem...simplistic definition. That's why it's not a debate.

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