20 March, 2006

Dead Republicans

A blog I don't link to out of principle had a very snarky article today (Monday) referencing this story about a study conducted by social scientists in Berkeley, California. That right there should give you an idea of the (predetermined?) outcome of the study. The results of that "study" showed that "whiny, insecure kids....grew up to be conservative". Hee. Isn't that funny? It also showed that confident, self-assured kids grew up to be liberal. It also showed that professors of social science in Berkeley, California tend to conduct specious studies.

What is more troubling to me is that no one seems to be looking at what kind of people grow up to think of their political opponents in solely perjorative terms. The tenor of politics in America seems to be "the *^^&*&* )(*&^&^*) on the other side are making the whole thing divisive." I am at a loss for where this enmity comes from. Is it that now, without Russians to hate we are turning against people who vote differently? Why? Especially since there is less and less difference between the two parties of record.

Yes, I'm conservative. Was I a "whiny, insecure kid"? You know, some days I probably was. There were also plenty of days where I was confident and self-assured. I was picked last in gym class, but I won spelling bees. The gym days were a lot more insecure than the spelling days. My life has been a patchwork of emotion, experience and lessons learned. I'd hate to think that entire cacophany of self is drilled down into one component. Let's put it this way. I'm conservative because I believe that people should be able to keep what they've earned and live free of tyranny. I believe that guns guarantee freedom and America still has the potential to be the grandest social experiment ever achieved. I believe that God is not a four-letter word and faith is not correlated to weakness. I believe the best ways for mankind to reach its full potential is through limited government involvement in the affairs of individuals. I'm proud to believe that, and secure in that belief. I love most of the people I know, and rarely take their politics into account when doing so.

If the rest of you want to have your cutesy Dead Republicans contest and laugh about it with crude appelations for conservative people go right ahead. If you want to threaten to key my car or not repair it properly for having a choose life plate (which I won't have---they cost extra) then go ahead and enjoy your self-assured and confident ways. I'll feel free to whine about it. It is, after all, apparently my lot in life.

8 Comments:

At 8:01 AM, March 21, 2006, Anonymous brittney said...

I doubt there was any kid more insecure than me. I wasn't whiny, but I bet my mom would tell a different story.

And we know how I turned out...

 
At 11:48 AM, March 21, 2006, Blogger Lee said...

I guessed the blog you referred to on my first try. Yea.

 
At 1:45 PM, March 21, 2006, Anonymous Kevin Newman said...

Let me make sure I understand: you dismiss the story out of hand because it comes from a city with a reputation for having a different political persuasion than yours, but you don't list a single thing wrong with the way the decades-long study was done. Then you whine about the tone of political discourse that "think[s] of their political opponents in solely perjorative terms"?

I've not read the blog that you discovered this story on, and their analysis might have also been totally wrong, but you've really done nothing but provide another example for the next study.

 
At 1:50 PM, March 21, 2006, Blogger Kat Coble said...

I don't dismiss the story out of hand. I read it through, but didn't link to the study. And I wasn't in any mood to read through the study.

What bugged me was that the linked article was very even-handed in the way it presented the results, and went into much detail. I didn't do so in my post because the article did that very well. My post was designed to address the fact that I saw this article linked to by no fewer than six blogs yesterday. None of the blogs addressed the alternative points of the article. They all just chuckled about the negative stereotyping of conservatives in the lede. Hence my longer post.

you don't list a single thing wrong with the way the decades-long study was done.

Again, the linked article did that very well. I'm not providing summary. I'm providing commentary.

 
At 4:09 PM, March 21, 2006, Anonymous Kevin Newman said...

You said that the location of the scientists determined the outcome of the study.

From the linked article that you cite: "There's no reason to think political bias skewed the ratings ..." The article also cites a similar earlier study that had similar findings. How in the world did you manage to interpret that article as refuting the study?

And if you are refuting the analysis of the study and not the actual study, why not link to the analysis, and why the stereotypical dismissal of Berkeley as being devoid of science?

 
At 4:26 PM, March 21, 2006, Blogger Kat Coble said...

why the stereotypical dismissal of Berkeley as being devoid of science?

"tend to" is not saying they are devoid of science. Yet again you are arguing against what you think I'm saying instead of what I'm actually saying.

You said that the location of the scientists determined the outcome of the study.

I most certainly did not. You are really seeming eager to paint me with a brush of false colour. As far as the study goes, even the author says

Block admits in his paper that liberal Berkeley is not representative of the whole country.

See. The guy himself said that his area was not representative. It's not a stereotype, Kevin. It's an acknowledged fact. And the article goes on to provide a refutation from a member of the study author's own field.
But Jeff Greenberg, a social psychologist at the University of Arizona who was critical of Jost's study, was less impressed. "I found it to be biased, shoddy work, poor science at best," he said of the Block study.

That right there is how I managed to say the article refutes the study.

And if you are refuting the analysis of the study and not the actual study, why not link to the analysis,

What analysis? I'm refuting the attitude of multiple posters who linked to this particular article and didn't seem to bother reading it through.

 
At 5:37 PM, March 21, 2006, Anonymous Kevin Newman said...

To say that the politics of the people living in Berkeley are to the left of what is representative of the nation is a fact. To say that studies that come from that city are scientifically suspect based on their locale is a pejorative, politically-based stereotype.

"I am at a loss for where this enmity comes from."

HANG UP THE PHONE AND RUN!. THE CALL IS COMING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE!

Using a sample that is not representative does not invalidate the study or make it poor science. Rather, it limits the conclusions that can be made from the study. In the group of kids used in this study, the ones identified in nursery school as whiny grew up to be more conservative that the non-whiny kids at a statistically significant rate. The study didn't claim that all whiny kids became conservative adults, or that all conservative adults were once whiny kids. It claimed that there was a statistical correlation between whininess as a kid and conservatism as an adult in the sample observed.

You accuse the study of having a predetermined outcome, but provide no means by which that could happen. You base that accusation only on the city in which it was conducted.

You also claim that an article that quotes someone who makes non-specific accusations about the study (which are contrary to the conclusions drawn by the article's author) somehow refutes the study. That's moronic. By your logic, scientific studies can be refuted by writing articles which quote people who say that the studies are poor science.

 
At 11:52 PM, April 30, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you've missed the point. You complain of the negative stereotyping of conservatives yet you automatically label as liberal anyone who doesn't mirror your narrow-minded biases. The truth is you're still an insecure whiny kid - a stunted soul in a grown-up body, a thrower of self-righteous tantrums, a mean-spirited wimp who calls himself a Chritian but fools no one but himself.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home