February 14, 2004

Eugene Volokh's Stupid Math

Eugene Volokh goes into all sorts of mathematical gyrations to try to prove that there is some sort of basis for Prof. Brandon's prejudiced remarks. Now I don't understand why he's doing this as he's no fan of the idea but he does it anyway.

Since we're in the realm of pulling numbers out our ears, perhaps a little reality might be in order. There is an interesting fact regarding Democrat and Republican voters. Republicans form a normal curve and Democrats don't. Democrats predominate both on the very high end of educational level and the very bottom as well.

If such a distribution can exist in reality between Democrats and Republicans, there is no reason it could not exist between conservatives and liberals? Furthermore, if such a curve can exist ideologically based on education, is there any mathematical reason such a curve cannot exist based on intelligence in an ideological bent? Of course the answer is no, no reason at all.

The assumption tripping up Prof. Volokh is that ideological allegiance is a simple phenomenon. In reality, I've noticed that smart people tend to be conservative or liberal for different reasons than stupid people. The motivations tend to work independently of each other as well so there is no reason why conservativism couldn't have a compelling case that makes sense to the less intelligent while also having a (different) compelling case that makes sense to the super-intelligent.

Posted by TMLutas at February 14, 2004 02:22 AM