Re: Nice educational system you got here-- sure would be a shame if something happened to it...

1

Is Zogby Interactive even a scientific poll? Their results were absolutely terrible in both the 2004 and 2006 election seasons, IIRC.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 07-11-07 4:28 PM
horizontal rule
2

I own a fabulous bit of ephemera. It is a pamphlet produced in the Thirties. "The Red Hand of the Professor". Or something like that. I'll have to dig it out.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-11-07 4:32 PM
horizontal rule
3

Could conservatives be any more excited about using the power of government to fix social ills?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-11-07 4:33 PM
horizontal rule
4

If leftist proselytizing in colleges is such a problem, how did Bush almost get elected? I don't think academia has been trending further left than it was 10 or 20 years ago. I guess red-blooded American college students are just toooooo smart for those commie perfessers.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 07-11-07 4:35 PM
horizontal rule
5

From my own experience in evangelical Baptist churches, the propaganda against secular college education is insane. They tell you that all your professors are godless atheists controlled by Satan, and that you must guard your heart against everything they say. As an instructor, it helps that I know the Bible a lot better than most of my students. When I've needed to, I'll happily take a particularly angry student aside and ask, if they're having trouble reading secular literature, why they chose to attend a secular college. They will find many professors far more hostile to religion than I am, and it will get worse for them. Are they thinking about transferring?

I am happy to have religious students in my class, and I count on them to speak openly about their own doctrines, but, when the question is put to them, it turns out very few of them can spit back anything except vague, hostile sentiments about sinners. "Yes, I know you are against sin, but what do you believe about God?" They don't know. If their religious services have become anything like the ones at my parents' church, they're not being taught anything about theology or even their religious texts; they just know what groups they're supposed to fear and hate.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-11-07 4:35 PM
horizontal rule
6

5: This is worrisome to me. I'm somewhat isolated from this by being in a discipline where it really doesn't come up. But from where I sit, I see a lot of propaganda against (secular) education and educational institutions, and precious little of this `dangerous academic bias'.


Posted by: soubzriquet | Link to this comment | 07-11-07 4:39 PM
horizontal rule
7

Just a cotton-pickin' minute. The site says that 91% of conservatives worry about professorial bias, and 3% of liberals. And so does 58% of the sample.

If everyone in the sample is either liberal or conservative, that means the sample is 5:3 conservative. Doesn't it? I call provisional shenanigans, until someone disproves my arithmetic.

Assuming I'm right, look, here's why: It's an opt-in online poll conducted over a couple of days. Anyone think the conservative were more motivated to opt-in?


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 07-11-07 4:46 PM
horizontal rule
8

It's an opt-in online poll? Okay then, it's bullshit. Who cares what the composition of it was.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-11-07 4:46 PM
horizontal rule
9

Sorry, conducted over four days.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 07-11-07 4:50 PM
horizontal rule
10

Oops! Didn't see that it was opt-in. Nevermind!


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 07-11-07 4:53 PM
horizontal rule
11

7: It says 91% of very conservative adults worry about bias.


Posted by: Drewtok | Link to this comment | 07-11-07 4:54 PM
horizontal rule
12

Ah, fair enough, Drewtok. They're not giving us enough information to figure out the breakdown of the sample.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 07-11-07 4:55 PM
horizontal rule
13

And the methodological statement didn't sound like, say, a Lou Dobbs poll...


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 07-11-07 4:57 PM
horizontal rule
14

What percentage of adults are worried about bias in the polls about bias in academics?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 07-11-07 4:59 PM
horizontal rule
15

And the methodological statement didn't sound like, say, a Lou Dobbs poll...

No; they solicited a sample of their sample. But people still had to opt in. So I'm still guessing then that people are more likely to opt into polls they feel strongly about than those they don't.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 07-11-07 5:04 PM
horizontal rule
16

I took that poll.


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 07-11-07 5:05 PM
horizontal rule
17

Can't you see what you're doing to America, neil?


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 07-11-07 5:05 PM
horizontal rule
18

You sign up to take Zogby Interactive polls and sometimes they invite you to one. You can't solicit the particular poll, but the entire body of respondents is people who signed up to be polled. This is where you sign up.


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 07-11-07 5:07 PM
horizontal rule
19

Oh, and they don't tell you what the poll is about until you've already started.


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 07-11-07 5:08 PM
horizontal rule
20

So as I piece it together, you need to sign up, then you may or may not be picked for the "panel." The panel is alleged to represent the adult population of the U.S. (Along what axes, we don't know. Racial? Educational? Geographical? Ideological?) Then for a given poll, they take a presumably random sample of the panel to invite. Then you have to decide that sometime in the next four days you're willing to take the time to respond.

If that's so, I see two fishy steps -- the initial signing up, which demonstrates a civic or discursive involvement well beyond that of voting, which is already beyond the norm. Then the choosing to respond to the poll, which says that you'd rather be doing that than e.g. commenting on Unfogged.

The proof would be in the pudding, I guess -- do these methods do a good job of predicting anything?


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 07-11-07 5:12 PM
horizontal rule
21

19: Okay, that makes it more nearly honest. But presumably, once you've said you'll respond, you can decide at that point whether you'll finish your response or not.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 07-11-07 5:13 PM
horizontal rule
22

It's astonishing not that so many people believe that the bias exists, but that so many people believe that it's a problem.

How exactly would they like this problem to be solved?

This depresses me. Let's watch some cute marsupial antics.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07-11-07 5:18 PM
horizontal rule
23

They ask all the tedious age, racial, educational, geographical, ideological, military, "are you a NASCAR fan" questions in each and every poll (probably because they don't want to assume that email addresses are read by only one person).

In every poll, political or not, they ask you a first-page political survey (Did you vote last time? For who? Do you approve of Bush?) before they get into anything more. Sometimes there's not anything more, sometimes it's about weird stuff like astrology or a particular issue, as in this case. Then, at the end, demographics.


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 07-11-07 5:20 PM
horizontal rule
24

Oh, I don't think that's all that surprising. That's about labeling -- "bias" is bad. If you said, do you think that professors have political opinions? and do you think that's a problem? you might get a different answer.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 07-11-07 5:20 PM
horizontal rule
25

Funny you'd suggest that remedy, Ned. I escaped to this.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-11-07 5:21 PM
horizontal rule
26

My guess is that readers of Unfogged are more likely than other people to enjoy describing their opinions to some computer.


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 07-11-07 5:22 PM
horizontal rule
27

When I was teaching, somebody who had never been to one of my classes (and who had never even met me) accused me of politically indoctrinating my students -- the sole basis basis for the accusation being the fact that I am largely liberal, and was a professor.

Never mind that it was a class in mathematics...


Posted by: A. Chandler Moisen | Link to this comment | 07-11-07 5:23 PM
horizontal rule
28

Now that I think about it, math does have a well-known liberal bias.


Posted by: A. Chandler Moisen | Link to this comment | 07-11-07 5:24 PM
horizontal rule
29

Dogs and cats, yawn. I like using Youtube to see how animals I've never seen before act.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07-11-07 5:25 PM
horizontal rule
30

Relentless turtle.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 07-11-07 5:28 PM
horizontal rule
31

Oh my God, could kittens be any more adorable?

Here's a trite observation: what does it say about the conviction of evangelicals (for instance) of the rightness of their beliefs that they're so frantic to insulate their children from contrary opinions?


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 07-11-07 5:32 PM
horizontal rule
32

I gave a high school commencement address the basic theme of which was American colleges as instruments of Satan. I believe a "den of serpents" metaphor was prominantly featured. It was pretty awesome; I wish I'd saved the text.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07-11-07 5:33 PM
horizontal rule
33

Even if the poll's a piece of total crap, it's still going to get trotted out in the NYT and WaPo and become an Issue in the Elections. Just watch.

What I love about these kinds of discussions is how often I get people from the internet commenting or emailing to the effect of "you are what's wrong with academia today! I can only begin to imagine the horror that is your classroom!" As if I were exactly the same in a classroom setting about moldy literature than I am in an internet conversation about body image.

People are stupid.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-11-07 5:33 PM
horizontal rule
34

Fucking hell, am I glad the small amount of university teaching I've done was at a British university.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-11-07 5:41 PM
horizontal rule
35

This seems pertinent: Love on Campus

http://www.theamericanscholar.org/su07/love-deresiewicz.html

"The alcoholic, embittered, writer-manqué English professor who neglects his family and seduces his students is a figure of creative sterility, and he is creatively sterile because he loves only himself. Hence his vanity, pomposity, and selfishness; his self-pity, passivity, and resentment. Hence his ambition and failure. And thence his lechery, for sleeping with his students is a sign not of virility but of impotence: he can only hit the easy targets; he feeds on his students' vitality; he can't succeed in growing up."

OUCH. (Via Volokh Conspiracy)


Posted by: A. Chandler Moisen | Link to this comment | 07-11-07 5:42 PM
horizontal rule
36

I wonder: why don't dogs eat cats?


Posted by: Mike J. | Link to this comment | 07-11-07 5:45 PM
horizontal rule
37

30: See, I'd shoot that tortoise. How dare it hassle cats.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-11-07 5:50 PM
horizontal rule
38

I love cats, but that tortoise rules.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 07-11-07 5:59 PM
horizontal rule
39

31 - Because part of their ideology is that the secular world is inherently corrupting? That's why there's a long tradition of fundamentalist detachment from secular politics, one I hope we return to real soon now.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 07-11-07 5:59 PM
horizontal rule
40

No no, 39 to 36.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 07-11-07 6:01 PM
horizontal rule
41

39 to 36.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-11-07 6:01 PM
horizontal rule
42

Wow. Nobody expects the rfts pwn!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-11-07 6:02 PM
horizontal rule
43

Woooo!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 07-11-07 6:07 PM
horizontal rule
44

I thought my wombat link would be what made rfts say "Woooo!". Oh well, keep trying.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07-11-07 6:08 PM
horizontal rule
45

Oh, good lord, I completely missed the wombat link. Quality wombat action! In the afterlife, there is going to be a wombat park where the wombats like to go to hang out and have play dates with other wombats, and they will always be excited to see me and squabble over who gets to hug me around the leg first. Just so you know.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 07-11-07 6:13 PM
horizontal rule
46

Maybe I'm just fooling myself, but I'm sure at least one of my cats would have fucked that tortoise up rather than running away.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 07-11-07 6:14 PM
horizontal rule
47

46: "up" s/b ""


Posted by: My Alter Ego | Link to this comment | 07-11-07 6:33 PM
horizontal rule
48

PK says "omg, the wombat is so cute! It's ay-dorable! But it's not as cute as a mouse. Right?"


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-11-07 6:48 PM
horizontal rule
49

That boy needs a chinchilla. If there were ever a wombat-sized mouse in the world, it's a chinchilla.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-11-07 6:50 PM
horizontal rule
50

Okay, if y'all are diggin' the wombat, you should get Wombat goes Walkabout. About a wombat that digs alot and thinks alot. Trust me on this one. (Those of you with kids, anyway.)


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-11-07 7:23 PM
horizontal rule
51

20: I happened to take that poll -- I signed up to get Zogby polls a while back, and have taken maybe 6 or 7? They do take basic demographic information with every poll (including "how often do you shop at Wal-Mart" and "do you consider yourself a NASCAR fan", but not "how often do you conduct animal sacrifices" or "do you consider yourself a heroin fan").


Posted by: Hamilton Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 07-11-07 8:58 PM
horizontal rule
52

Whoops, failed to read the rest of the comments before responding. I'm banned.


Posted by: Hamilton Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 07-11-07 9:01 PM
horizontal rule
53

rfts you should make sure to wear long pants in the afterlife. Wombats have powerful claws, for burrowing.

I find these videos interesting because wombats, for example, look like groundhogs, so I thought they would behave like groundhogs. But they seem to behave more like dogs or pigs.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07-12-07 8:13 AM
horizontal rule
54

That wombat looked morbidly obese to me.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-12-07 8:15 AM
horizontal rule
55

It may have been taking anabolic steroids, as you can tell from the background music.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07-12-07 8:17 AM
horizontal rule