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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Those damned statistics

What's Mallard raving about today?


Mallard examines the make up of a self-selecting group and conflates it with bias. Professors at the nations most prestigious Universities do not support the political party which would eliminate the Department of Education if it could. Stop the presses.

Just as meaningful would be, for example, examining the number of Democrats and Republicans among ballet dancers or Regency University professors.

But even that pales in comparison to the intellectual laziness with which Mallard attempts, and fails, to make his point.

First his protagonist says that her education had balance. Then she says she would thank her conservative professors if the university had any. All of which means that her non-conservative professors are the ones who provided her with balance in her education. So, what's the problem, then, Mallard?


Truce Binsley said...

Does Tinshley want affirmative action for Republican professors?

The most entertaining part of the study he cites is that the "32 elite colleges" were obviously cherry-picked to get the desired result:

"We included the entire Ivy League, premier liberal arts colleges like Amherst and Pomona, well-known technically-oriented universities like MIT, highly competitive public institutions like the University of California at Berkeley, and other elite private universities like Stanford."

So they started with a bunch of schools in the northeast, and then added a few more from Massachusetts and California. Gee, what kind of results do you think that will produce?

The only "red state" schools on the list are Davidson, Duke, and Oberlin (and that's assuming Ohio still counts as a red state).

You can read the "study" here:

EddyPo said...

I was wondering about these "elite" schools. I love it when Drinky Smurf cites something in his strip.

Erich said...

I think he wanted that to mean "I'd like to thank the university for the balance and perspective, IF I'd received any." As written, though, it doesn't come across too clearly.

I thought Mallard regarded "diverse" as a dirty word. "See, I'm using one of those liberals' buzzwords and turning it right back at them! Damn, I'm good!"

Anonymous said...

Why is it so $%@#ing shocking to Tinsley that professors would align themselves with the party that DOESN'T want to militarize space, cut back on research spending, cut funding for things like alternative energy sources, and so forth?

It makes me a little angry. You know why there aren't a ton of republican professors? Because the damn republican interest doesn't mesh with that of a higher education teaching/research profession! Not because universities hate republicans! You still run the frickin country so quit playing the victim!