Sunday, January 29, 2012

As the Cookie Crumbles: AIEEE! The Stoopit! It Burns!

One of my favorite political put-downs ever was administered in the early part of the 19th Century by arguably the most intelligent man of the age, and one ot the top three or four conrtenders for the honor off the smartest feller EVER--John Stuart Mill (Spoke English, French, German, Latin, and Greek before he was FIVE, among other things--folks who study such stuff reckon his IQ by our standards today would have scored well above 240)... Well anyhow, Mill said (roughly): "Not all Conservatives are stupid people. But the vast majority of truly stupid people are Conservatives.."

I was reminded of this when I saw a link on the FBook the other day which piqued my interest.

"Low IQ & Conservative Beliefs Linked to Prejudice"

YOU COULD HEAR THE HOWLS. They HATE stuff like this down at the Family Values Council and Teabagger Central. Like when the DHS inadvertently studied the links of right-wingers to 'terrorist acts?' Man, the bellows of the bulls balls being busted were audible for 1300 fuuking miles.

IT gets better!

"Low-intelligence children are more likely to be racist adults," a controversial study explained, "due to the simplified world view offered by extremism" which matches their reduced cognitive capacities for dealing with subtlety and uncertainty.

And, it turns out, the same is apparently true of people espousing fundamentalist religious views: they're dumber, on average, than people who don't wallow in faith. The faithful are more likely to be among the less intelligent, who are more likely to be ignorant racist butt-holes. I've got links to both studies on the blog.

"They've pulled off the trifecta of controversial topics," said Brian Nosek, a social and cognitive psychologist at the University of Virginia who was not involved in the study. "When one selects intelligence, political ideology and racism and looks at any of the relationships between those three variables, it's bound to upset somebody," Nosek said.

Well, fuukin DUH! sez yer pal, Dr. Woody...who is still laughing at the discomfiture of the folks stung by this. Yeah that's gonna get right under the skin of the dumb, fucking right-wing racists...

It is interesting that, so often in the way of these things, this finding is almost the diametrically opposite to that purported in the mid 90s by Hernnstein and Murray, in their controversial (and ultimately rejected, by responsible scholarship) book, "The Bell Curve," produced explicitly to buttress the Neo-Con/CorpoRat/Privatization education agenda, about which I could go on at length, but will for now refrain. They claimed there was a "genetic" correlation between race and poor performance on standardized tests.

Since Hernnstein and Murray published (in '94), the academy has utterly eviscerated and discredited "The Bell Curve," the pretensions of which were so intellectually fraudulent and dishonest that Stephen J. Gould deconstructed them in "The Mismeasure of Man," fully 10 years BEFORE Herrnstein & Murry ever even formulated their "meta-analytic" design for the service of the Neo-Con education revolution.

If you haven't read Gould's book, you should do so. It's a lively and entertaining, and very enlightening account of the journey that "psychometrics" has undergone on its way to becoming the DEFINING discipline of public education.

Psychometrics? You don't know the word? Oh.

It's what the people who do it call "testing."

And you truly needn't bother with "The Bell Curve" except as an historical novelty and and book-length example of "begging of the question," that is assuming what is under dispute.

But AIEEEE, Hippies! The Stooooopit. It burns. Make it stop...Or I'll not be able to seeya at the beach...

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