Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Paul Krugman, Worst Economist in the World {WEITW}

Maybe, Krugman's blog is way too easy of a target and even as he says it is not meant to be taken too serious.
In my case it’s writing for the broader public. The great thing about the column is that it more or less forces me to keep learning new tricks, to keep scoping out areas I’d never thought much about before. Then it forces me to find a way to talk about those areas in plain English.
The Joy of Research

So instead of being a thoughtful researcher with deep knowledge on each subject, he instead just throws out hypothesis that support his political bias.
What you need to know is that the blog is an unpaid gig, something I do for fun and to add some backup to the columns. My support staff consists of two housecats. So I’m not going to do anything that involves hard work on appearance.
Graph Meta

I tend to think that he takes the same shortcuts on his actual words and ideas also. Today his off-hand remarks are directed at bias representation of conservatives in academia. Krugman starts off real well even in the title with it being: Ideas Are Not The Same As Race. Well race is simply not the only form of discrimination. At Social Scientist Sees Bias Within By JOHN TIERNEY, he talks about the forms of discrimination.
Discrimination is always high on the agenda at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology’s conference, where psychologists discuss their research on racial prejudice, homophobia, sexism, stereotype threat and unconscious bias against minorities.

I would have tried to include minorities in religion also on the list but the point is still made that it is not race alone or even innate identifiers that can not be easily changed like sex, race, height, etc. Krugman starts off his piece by stating the following two paragraphs.
Every once in a while you get stories like this one, about the underrepresentation of conservatives in academics, that treat ideological divides as being somehow equivalent to racial differences. This is a really, really bad analogy.

And it’s not just the fact that you can choose your ideology, but not your race. Ideologies have a real effect on overall life outlook, which has a direct impact on job choices. Military officers are much more conservative than the population at large; so? (And funny how you don’t see opinion pieces screaming “bias” and demanding an effort to redress the imbalance.)

Pretty much correct that ideologies creates biased results and thus it would be natural that there would be some self selection process going on in choosing careers. But as stated above, race is not the only analogy considered in the article. Race can also dictate and direct ideologies, which of course can be for the good or bad. If as Tierney states, that biased results indicate discrimination a priori then this portion of the article is important to consider.
“Anywhere in the world that social psychologists see women or minorities underrepresented by a factor of two or three, our minds jump to discrimination as the explanation,” said Dr. Haidt, who called himself a longtime liberal turned centrist. “But when we find out that conservatives are underrepresented among us by a factor of more than 100, suddenly everyone finds it quite easy to generate alternate explanations.”

Instead of a priori reasoning regarding discrimination, Social Psychologists should look more broadly in the social factors that may cause a bias outcome instead of assuming discrimination as always the root of the problem. Of course, if there is a bias in one job category {military} then it would be natural that there would be an opposite bias in another. Instead of focusing on the biased outcomes consider the complete social contexts of the results. Back to Krugman:
It’s particularly troubling to apply some test of equal representation when you’re looking at academics who do research on the very subjects that define the political divide. Biologists, physicists, and chemists are all predominantly liberal; does this reflect discrimination, or the tendency of people who actually know science to reject a political tendency that denies climate change and is broadly hostile to the theory of evolution?

Anyway, Krugman's link to Is the Academy liberal? most definitely shows bias in political views in all categories. The closest in R and Ds was Business at parity but still more identify themselves as Liberal. One of the obvious reasons is that when workers are supported by the state then it is natural that you have a more fond demeanor towards government. They become part of the apparatus of the state and is influenced daily by those social arrangements. And lastly:
Now, I don’t mean to say that political bias in the academy is absent, although it’s not consistent: I can well imagine that it’s hard to be a conservative in some social sciences, but in economics, the obvious bias in things like acceptance of papers at major journals is towards, not against, a doctrinaire free-market view. But the point is that doing head counts is a terrible way to assess that bias.

All I can assume when he means "not consistent" is that Krugman sees what his bias is likely to allow him to see. He will work hard at being studiously ignorant to discrimination. Even in the economics departments according to the above link, the ratio is 3 to 1 Democrats to Republicans.

Hopefully, Krugman will use this same understanding when looking at other types of bias in our society, but don't hold your breath expecting it to happen soon. Ultimately this matters not because one job or another is biased, but that the creation of memes and ideologies is born, created and spread through the institutions of academia. Unlike the military, colleges and universities are expected to partake in discussing our society and the governing bodies {politics}. Those in the military are not suppose to have their political affiliations on their sleeves or to spread their ideologies around. Unlike Krugman, I see this is a problem if young people are to be exposed to a wide variety of views and opinions in our schools. So while I empathize with the following passage, I find no easy solution.
Dr. Haidt (pronounced height) told the audience that he had been corresponding with a couple of non-liberal graduate students in social psychology whose experiences reminded him of closeted gay students in the 1980s. He quoted — anonymously — from their e-mails describing how they hid their feelings when colleagues made political small talk and jokes predicated on the assumption that everyone was a liberal.

“I consider myself very middle-of-the-road politically: a social liberal but fiscal conservative. Nonetheless, I avoid the topic of politics around work,” one student wrote. “Given what I’ve read of the literature, I am certain any research I conducted in political psychology would provide contrary findings and, therefore, go unpublished. Although I think I could make a substantial contribution to the knowledge base, and would be excited to do so, I will not.”

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Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Rachel Maddow just got Punked!!! Worst Dweeb in the World

In the latest episode of idiocracy, she talked about "supporters of Sarah Palin at the web site of ChristWire. It clearly looked to me as just a complete joke. If they had spent more than two seconds they would have at least checked out Wiki at Christwire - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Christwire is a satirical[1] website that publishes blog style articles that highlight perceived excesses[2] of Christian conservatives.[3]

Also others have noted the Onion like commentary at like a couple of place: University of Nonsensical Happenings: Christwire: Real or Satire?; The Guys Behind Christwire, Creating Parody From ‘Glenn Beck on Steroids’ -- Daily Intel. The latter having this choice piece:
This is, of course, satire: Completely over-the-top, but mimicking some extreme religious-right talking points so well that several mainstream news sites have been hoaxed. In a competitive and superheated news climate, a religious site calling for a boycott of Bill Murray, "murderer of lambs," was, for NBC Los Angeles, too good to not be true. The advice column "Is My Husband Gay?" (Does he "travel frequently to big cities or Asia"?) was, as the Atlantic Wire's John Hudson discovered, taken at face value by the Huffington Post.

Christwire owners Bryan Butvidas and Kirwin Watson, after fielding press queries and book offers for months, have finally decided to go public. In an interview with New York, Butvidas said the site's basic concept is to "see what Glenn Beck is talking about and then make it ten times worse."

"We're not trying to promote hate, we want to show how fake the world really is," he said. "We write to see how far we can get people to believe our nonsense. People believe anything they read on the Internet." Do readers get the joke? Just like with the media, not always. Butyidas, who usually pens columns under the name Tyson Bowers III, said some of the people who leave vituperative comments don't get the irony.

The opinion that sparked her dweebishness is called As Egypt Descends in Chaos, Should Sarah Palin Support a US-Led Invasion? | ChristWire. And this is the link to her video, one was removed, rachel maddow video Christwire - Yahoo! Video Search {}. The Dweeb uses an edited portions of this passage:
Governor Palin needs to speak out publicly and forcibly for an American-led invasion to protect our interests in North Africa. As the largest recipient of foreign aid next to Israel, the United States has a tremendous investment in keeping Egypt stable and relatively terrorist-free. There are many sympathizers on the ground who have not been able to express their allegiance to democracy and freedom for fear of repression by the rioters. The Governor could become the center of their rallying cries. Upon her direction, other Western nations are sure to join us.

You can't help but laugh at dweebs when they so self righteously show their stupidity...

PS: Excuse any grammar errors above. I also found while Googling that Christwire already had Maddow in their cross hairs. Obviously maybe a reason she used her Libtarded brain instead of the God given one. Political Hot or Not | ChristWire

PSS: Another wingnut decided to regurgitate her bile at Rachel Maddow "Did You Know You Secretly Dream Of The Annihilation Of Israel?"
Also out in that way, way beyond region, the website believes that "The escalating crisis in Egypt could become a defining moment for Sarah Palin...Governor Palin needs to speak out publicly and forcibly for an American-led invasion [emphasis mine]to protect our interests in North Africa. As the largest recipient of foreign aid next to Israel, the United States has a tremendous investment in keeping Egypt stable and relatively terrorist-free...Upon her direction, other Western nations are sure to join us."

Rachel points out that Palin is innocent, this time, as the invasion is not her idea but the suggestion of christwire.

Well Diane, I can see another Libtard that found something that confirms her world view and runs with it.

Oh, Grow Up Keith Olbermann! | ChristWire
I had to look it over twice to make sure that it wasn't a parody: If You’re a Fantastic Pro-Family Republican, Does One or Two Same-Sex Encounters Really Make You Gay?
Later in the post the blogger seems to reverse his statement but funny that he believed it for a second.

Update: A lot more saw that clip and had fun with it also including RedEye on FoxNews.
Rachel Maddow/MSNBC report fake story to slam Sarah Palin, Christians and conservatives : Fire Andrea Mitchell! They also note that it looks like MSNBC has not included that clip on their website, as I noticed last night also.

Christwire is having fun with it also...
What the Liberal Media Can Learn From Rachel Maddow’s Christwire Scandal | ChristWire
Several of my fellow journalists have suggested to me privately that, at the very least, Maddow owes Christwire an apology. Frankly, I’d rather not lower myself to her level. Most conservatives do not even consider her worthy of consideration. Her self-serving browbeating of a hardcore socialist agenda is an anathema to faith and righteousness. It is easy to dismiss this newswoman as a second-rate disingenuous fringe zealot who would trade her cable news podium to fill in Mary Hart’s heels on Entertainment Tonight in a heartbeat. Yet maybe this is the perfect opportunity to finally reassess one of this country’s most notorious persecutors of our sacred freedoms.

Egg-on-face alert: Rachel Maddow gets had; treats satire as actual news. The tweet seems to be gone also which was suppose to say:
The bad news about a free and open internet? Sometimes you get had by brilliant satirists. Christwire: 1 TRMS: 0
At Rachel Maddow the Latest Journo to Be Bamboozled by Christwire they do link to a live Tweet with that message.

This has the transcript of RedEye's Gregologue: MSNBC’s Maddow Reports Internet Spoof Story as Fact

Rachel Maddow Again Bashes Conservatives In Non-Apology For Embarrassing Mistake | Bucks Right, shows that she has a pattern of not only just admitting "technical errors" but using that as a springboard for her partisanship rants. It links to: Maddow Blames Beck and Other Conservatives for Her Getting Duped by Satirical Website | with video of her confession.

Update 2/2/2011: I certainly expect to see a fair number of attacking the messenger and nitpicking on their analysis. This site sure tries to support her contentions that she has a tough time between real satire and fake satire: Greenlee Gazette: Maddow Hoaxed, NewsBusters Reports, But Doesn't Understand It. The suggestion still stands that maybe if she does not know what is fact, that she should spend the extra 5 minutes confirming the information or just not air it.