Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Liberal Bias

A Liberal academic has a short paper on why he thinks the liberal bias in academia is bad for academia.
I have had the following experience more than once: I am speaking with a professional academic who is a liberal. The subject of the underrepresentation of conservatives in academia comes up. My interlocutor admits that this is indeed a reality, but says the reason why conservatives are underrepresented in academia is because they don't want to be there, or they're just not smart enough to cut it. I say: "That's interesting. For which other underrepresented groups do you think that's true?" An uncomfortable silence follows.
He makes a good point. I was reminded of some lean times in the aerospace industry when a few of my co-workers took jobs teaching. Now in technical areas, the instructors bias has no impact at all.
 \sigma_\theta = \dfrac{F}{tl} \
or your rocket blows up.Still, the professorship was picked on with the observation that "Those who can't do, teach." Me. I appreciate the folks who pounded the basics into my head and started me off on my career.

Chatting with my fellow students who were majoring in the liberal arts however, convinced me that the study of philosophy and the social sciences required a certain willing suspension of ones connection to reality to get through. Too much like basing product design criteria on an assumption of the existence of faeries and unicorns. OTOH they wound up in high positions with the EPA and the like so I guess they didn't wind up starving no matter how much they richly deserved such a fate.

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