Alumni Education

A couple of Mondoville grads who are Facebook friends of mine posted this article from Psychology Today, complete with the disingenuous “Interesting” that denotes agreement from those too passive-aggressive simply to say they agree (in fact, one of the two described it as “Very, very interesting”). Because I believe that education can even take place after graduation, I offered the following comment, which I discovered turned into a post.

[Student], I’m a self-described conservative — registered Republican — and I think any reading of my blog demonstrates that I tend to lean toward the libertarian side of things. Care to compare my IQ with, say, Obama’s? Pelosi’s? The combined Kennedy family’s? (By the way, other slack-jawed mouthbreathers on my side of things include William F. Buckley, George Will, Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, Antonin Scalia, Ludwig von Mises, Roger Scruton, Robert Heinlein…)

“But [Prof. Mondo]!” I hear you cry, “Perhaps the people you mention (and you) are outliers, the exceptions that prove the rule. After all, the average of any large group says nothing about any particular member x of that group.” OK, fine… let’s take a look at Dr. Kanazawa’s core assumption, to wit: liberalism is “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.” There are two weasel terms here — genuine concern and welfare.

The problem here is one of what one conservative blogger calls “Time Horizons.” Liberals tend to think in terms of immediate outcomes and empirical determinations. Give a hungry man a fish? Problem solved. What? He’s hungry tomorrow? Give him another fish, you stupid, selfish conservative. While this may show genuine concern for the man’s welfare in the short run, it takes no step toward addressing his long-term needs.

A conservative, meanwhile, may think, “Wouldn’t the guy’s needs be better served by helping him catch as many fish as he needs, and to salt/preserve fish for times of scarcity?” Now granted, the fish won’t always be biting — and really, most conservatives (myself included) don’t object to helping people out at those times. It’s called a safety net. However, the fish-a-day method from the previous paragraph is more like a hammock.

Conservatives may also think that the man’s welfare is not addressed in the long run by making him dependent on the kindness of strangers for his daily piscine ration. (They may even believe that a person is more than a materialistic/economic construction of wants, and that people may be damaged spiritually by long-term dependency, whether upon private charity or a paternalistic State.) Is that not also a manifestation of concern? Of course, that doesn’t fit the liberal/short-term empiricist focus on the NOW — not least because it’s harder to measure, so if we’re Kanazawa, we’ll just ignore it.

I would suggest that Dr. Kanazawa’s exercise here is really a simple form of masturbation — a frenzied activity designed to make himself feel good. Unfortunately, as was once believed of the more traditional form, it may lead to blindness.

About profmondo

Dad, husband, mostly free individual, medievalist, writer, and drummer. "Gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teche."
This entry was posted in Culture, Education, Politics, Why I Do What I Do. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Alumni Education

  1. Bill Neagle says:

    Having read how the “research” and “testing” were introduced and used to reach the results of Kanazawa’s study, it is a sad and I daresay embarrassing comment on his intelligence. According to the study, it would be easy to conclude women and blacks from a random sampling are way more intelligent than the rest of the sample population whereas common sense and, especially, knowledge of unbiased random sampling AND unbiased intelligence testing would produce counter-proof data to maintain there isn’t enough difference to conclude a significant leaning toward any specific sample population. Not to mention that the sampling of political leanings came from a very small age range (roughly college-aged), and if youths of today are anything like I was, my viewpoints were absolutely more liberal than they are now. It would seem to reason in accordance with the Kanazawa’s study, as I’ve migrated in my stance, my IQ has taken a nose-dive. I would forewarn anyone who would cite this study as fact may also see their perceived IQ take a plunge.

  2. dance says:

    I did not read this article, but I have come across Kanazawa before. Google him on black women and attractiveness and you will find a HOST of legit psychologists repudiating his method and rejecting his “science”.

  3. dance says:

    PS. In that case, someone re-analyzed the data and concluded that Kanazawa pretty much lied.

    Also, really? Comparing IQs? Is that ever a useful line of discussion? (note: I come from a household where my mother taught a one-room schoolhouse and took kids diagnosed as special-Ed and brought them up to/past grade level. Let’s improve nurture before worrying about nature. (are those short-term/long-term categories, FLG?))

  4. arethusa says:

    I’m a little confused by his list of professions that liberals dominate, hence proving that they’re smarter. None of them necessarily require much actual talent or brains, although very smart people can be found in them. (Certainly not academia, and not necessarily media or show biz, depending on what aspect we’re talking about.) If I wanted to control a society, I’d go for the business world, plus the military, which he doesn’t mention. But perhaps he is so much smarter than I that this makes sense to him.

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